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Full text of "The battle of Buena Vista : with the operations of the "Army of occupation" for one month"

THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



E406 
.B9 

C2 




This book is due at the WALTER R. DAVIS LIBRARY on 
the last date stamped under "Date Due." If not on hold it 
M may be renewed by bringing it to the library. 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://archive.org/details/battleofbuenavisOcarl 



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MAP 

OF THE COUNTB.V SEAR 

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tfl'esyuena l>.m.l.- Bw ™ 



THE 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 



THE OPERATIONS 



"ARMY OF OCg6C 



for oneimont: 



BY 

JAMES HENRY CA: 

CAPTAIN IN THE FIRST REGIMENT OF DRAGOONS. 




NEW YORK: 






HARPER AND BROTHERS, 

No. 82 Cliff Street. 

1848. 






c 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, 

By Harper and Brothers, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern Dis- 
trict of New York. 



TO 



MAJOR-GENERAL ZACHARY TAYLOR 



THIS ACCOUNT OF 



THE BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA 



IS RESPECTFULLY 



INSCRIBED. 



PREFACE. 



It is due to those who are immediately 
interested in the accuracy of the following 
account, as well as to the historian who 
may hereafter consult it, to state what were 
the opportunities of the writer for knowing 
the truth. 

For two months before the battle of Bu- 
ena Vista, he was stationed at or near the 
ground on which it was fought ; and, dur- 
ing this time, he was led, with others, to 
remark its strength as a military position. 

In the battle itself, the nature of the 
service he was called on to perform as com- 
mander of a company of dragoons, afforded 
opportunities of deliberate observation in 
many different parts of the scene, and en- 
abled him sometimes to take notes of what 
was going on around him. 

For no less than eight months afterward, 
he was encamped on the same spot, and 



VI PREFACE. 



had the best opportunities of conferring 
with the different officers engaged, and of 
observing accurately the various localities. 

Hence arose his purpose of attempting a 
minute description of the battle, — a pur- 
pose he began at once to execute under 
circumstances which seemed to invite him 
to the task, convinced as he was, that what 
had formed so interesting a part of his own 
experience and observation, would be re- 
garded hereafter as one of the important 
events in the military history of the coun- 
try. 

With all that fell under his personal no- 
tice, or was derived from minute inquiries of 
other officers immediately after the battle, 
he has combined the substance of what ap- 
peared in the official reports of both parties. 
To avoid doing injustice to the Mexicans, 
their reports are generally quoted at the 
foot of the page. 

To Brevet Brigadier-General Churchill, 
Inspector-General of the Army, he is in- 
debted for the minute report of the killed 
and wounded, which is inserted in the 



PREFACE. Vll 

Appendix. Brevet Captain Sitgreaves, of 
the Corps of Topographical Engineers, has 
kindly furnished him with a Plan of the 
battle-ground, which was drawn leisurely 
from careful measurements, and may be re- 
lied upon as scientifically correct. 

The Map of the surrounding country has 
been sketched from notes made on the spot, 
and is sufficiently exact to give an idea of 
the different routes and positions having 
any relation to the battle. 

In the Appendix are given, beside the 
documents referred to in the text, several 
others, which seemed pertinent to the gen- 
eral subject of the book. 

With this statement of his opportunities 
of knowing, and of his inducements to 
describe, the details of the Battle of Buena 
Vista, the writer presents his narrative to 
the public, claiming for it only the consid- 
eration due to the fidelity and candor with 
which he has attempted to compose it. 

J. H, c, 

Boston, July 4, 1848. 



It is the purpose of the following narrative 
1 



' " ~v'v s 



LESEX1). g^j 

J*. Position at* General Taylor ilimti^ the SSfe: 

Wttle of the 23^ of Kbiarr. 

A. Hacienda San Juan Sela Buena \ r ista 

B. La Angostura 

C. Beep ouDiesto-tlieii^il of laJnigistnv 

D. IbelnoUaiiicarniei'tiii^La -inmost™ 
ttrfk the Hatean. 

E. Tie Hateju. 

F. TheTOrraeiniearaftjiePialemi. 

G. TheliroaAt-avmeniftool .,1 1|„ 11 n, a, 
H The Encampment . 
I. Th-e]evaterb-iJg. I .elvreen the fc-rt 

position of the enemy ;«ivi_tlnrt at 

the Americans. 
J The slope of fheuio.iutaiuto the left of 

thePlaieao. oei-npie.i Iri- Ainptiora - 
K. The slope of the jiioiuitain oceupieA 

Dythe American njflemen . 
Ei. Torition of laenl.-ji.uit OlJn.ois sec 

■.on ol Artillery X tl.e ^"fiohajjaregi- 

tnrarlat oaylavaj, on ll„. JS'.'iof FeVT 



Br, 




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Ml%01&^M ;' 






:P :l., A A 

OF THE 

BXTTtE in- BUENA V 

FOUGHT 

February 22 11 . d & 23' 
1847. 



try Brevet-Captain Zorenza Sitgre 

U.1S.T.E. 



Kmjravi'jl for fuplnin Curh-t»i,.-> History of titr BtittJv nf Bilaiui llsti 




^ V 



LE GESD. 

^N". CaprtajiiliEaggsBattei-y-aaiitlie i" 3 - 

Keuctrjeliv "Vnlxajjteeirs . 
O. First. jtOTCf- 
tSeeoinl £<trge. 
Tim- 3. iurqe . 
K. 2^-TIHngU A'aamiteeps. 
S- Two pieces o±' Captain. SLenaHZ 

Batteinr. 
T. TVo etmrpauies Tf*. Dra^oans. 
17. 3P. I.'tiIIi. nil's Tesrau tompauT. 
V. Colonel Lane's o 1 *" 1 Indiana 
Vohmteess. 
'~Jp. V Ank^nsas yju.il Keuttuiy iWimeot; 
Monnled ^nhmtuets . 
-■ X. Krst Coluum ot attack, iiiiildi 
tUmreral Mara y TiJlaniVL- 
Y. Geneva L L oiiib^Eoiiiis dxvisiau.. 
Z- General PachecoV tlco.ai.caL . 



BROTHLRS, NE1W YORK. 



Engs I,, w ffiarilje 



THE 



BATTLE OF BUEM VISTA. 



The Battle of Buena Vista has now become 
the property of the Past. In our country's 
history, it stands beside that of Trenton, 
Saratoga, Yorktown, Niagara, and New Or- 
leans ; but in many respects it much surpasses 
them all. Of the numerous triumphs of our 
arms, it is by far the greatest ; as a proof of 
American valor, it shines forth immeasurably 
the most glorious. That every individual may 
clearly understand how it was fought, and how 
won, nothing more is necessary than a sim- 
ple array of the facts, which constituted the 
elements, and characterized the movements, 
of the two armies on that occasion ; which 
determined the various phases of their pro- 
tracted conflict ; and which finally secured 
the grand result, — a magnificent victory of 
the one over the other. 

It is the purpose of the following narrative 
1 



2 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 

to set forth, as completely as possible, those 
facts in their true light ; to speak impartially 
of both sides ; in fine, to pass before the eye 
of the reader a panorama of the battle, with 
no other than its own fearful embellishments. 

It was, without doubt, the original purpose 
of General Taylor, in the event of Santa 
Anna's marching from San Luis de Potosi to 
attack him, to offer battle at Agua Nueva, a 
hacienda twenty miles south of Saltillo, 
near which place he was then encamped. 
Accordingly, by the 10th of February, he 
had moved all his troops thither with the 
exception of Captain Webster's Battery of two 
24-pounder howitzers, — which was left to 
occupy a redoubt that our forces had erected 
on an eminence commanding the approaches 
to the city, — and a small battalion of riflemen, 
under Major Warren, of the First Regiment of 
Illinois Yolunteers, to protect the depot of 
ammunition and provisions still remaining 
behind. 

It was necessary to select some place for 
an encampment, where the ground would be 
sufficiently extensive and otherwise suitable 
for the instruction of the troops ; where 
wood and water would be convenient ; and 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 6 

where, if circumstances should require it, a 
battle might be fought to good advantage. 
Agua Nueva possessed all these requisites in 
a greater degree than any other place within 
a hundred miles of Saltillo. Opposed to some 
strong reasons against it, as a position for bat- 
tle, there were many in its favor. The ene- 
my, in advancing upon the direct and great 
thoroughfare from San Luis de Potosi, had 
necessarily to approach by the hacienda La 
Encarnacion. Thence to Agua Nueva, it was 
thirty-five miles through a desert ; a long 
and fatiguing march for any species of troops, 
but particularly for artillery and infantry, and 
without one drop of water for the whole 
distance, — the first to be found being en- 
tirely in our possession. Therefore, by main- 
taining that place, General Taylor would have 
the advantage of the enemy's disarray from 
a forced march, of his consequent fatigue, 
and, more than all, of the unfitness of his 
men and animals, from long-continued thirst, 
for immediate battle ; while, on the contrary, 
his own troops would be perfectly fresh, and 
prepared at all points to receive him. Besides, 
unless some spot should be chosen still farther 
in advance, it was better, when this was once 



4 BATTLE OP BUENA VISTA. 

occupied, to maintain it if possible, than to 
select one in the rear ; because the fact of 
retiring on the approach of an enemy, even 
for a better position, would be calculated to 
exert a moral effect upon raw troops greatly to 
be dreaded, as it would cause them to lose 
confidence not only in their own strength, 
but in the sagacity, firmness, and hopes of 
their leader, and, on the other hand, would 
serve to inspire their antagonists with a more 
exalted idea of their own prowess. 

These reasons for considering this spot as a 
very good one for a battle-ground were chiefly 
dependent on the supposition, that Santa Anna, 
if he came at all, would approach the Ameri- 
cans, encamped upon it, from La Encarnacion, 
by the direct road. Agua Nueva is situated at 
the southern extremity of the beautiful valley 
of La Encantada ; and there were two other 
routes, by which, with great exertions, he 
might enter it. On one, he could march to 
the right, by La Hedionda, and thereby gain 
Buena Yista in our rear ; and, on the other, he 
could pass to the left, by La Punta de Santa 
Elena, so as to attain the hacienda San Juan 
de la Yaqueria, which would likewise enable 
him to get possession of the road to Saltillo, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 5 

and oblige our army to fight under the disad- 
vantage of having its communication entirely 
cut off. These were contingencies, and the 
only ones, which would render a change of 
position imperative. As a last resort, there- 
fore, to be determined upon and adopted 
according to the dispositions of the enemy, 
his strength, the description of his forces, and 
the manner of his approach, General Taylor 
had it in his power to move back, and take 
another ground, which, as early as the Decem- 
ber previous, General Wool had selected* as 
a most excellent one for battle, and which, 
under certain circumstances, would be greatly 
superior to that which the army then occupied. 
This latter point was the Pass of Buena Vista, 
six miles in front of Saltillo, and fourteen in 
rear of Agua Nueva. 

The Pass of Buena Vista breaks through a 
chain of lofty mountains, which, running from 
east to west, divides the valley north of Sal- 
tillo from the more elevated one of La En- 
cantada. It varies in width from a mile and 
a half to four miles ; having the rancho of La 
Encantada at its southern and narrowest ex- 

* See Appendix, B. 



6 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

tremity, at the point where it debouches upon 
the plain in the valley of that name, and, at 
its northern extremity, the city of Saltillo, 
built immediately upon the side of the de- 
clivity by which it abruptly terminates, as 
with a step, or leap, to the valley below the 
town. From La Encantada a small stream of 
water finds its way through the Pass to Sal- 
tillo, and, although it keeps much nearer 
to the mountains on the western side, still 
affords room enough between their base and 
its bank for a fine belt of cultivated fields, 
which, with but few intervals, extends near- 
ly its whole length. The portion of the Pass 
east of the stream is elevated some sixty or 
seventy feet above that which lies to the 
west of it, and, being much broader, strikes 
the eye as an upper table, stretching with a 
very regular and gradual ascent to the base of 
the wall of mountains on that side. The road 
from Saltillo to Agua Nueva, for the first five 
miles, continues along this upper plain to the 
point where is situated the hacienda San Juan 
de la Buena Vista/ A) a collection of adobe* 

<■ A > The engraved Plan of the Battle is referred to by 
letters and figures. 

* A-do-be; large bricks made of clay and straw, and 
Bun-dried, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 7 

buildings, with fiat roofs and walls of great 
thickness, and capable of good defence against 
any troops without artillery. This little vil- 
lage enjoys a commanding view, not only 
of the whole Pass, but of the beautiful 
ranges of mountains which extend from Palo- 
mas and the Rinconada on toward Monclova, 
and also of the valley of La Encantada, with, 
far to the southward, the lofty peak of Cata- 
na, towering to the clouds in the blue distance. 
For the next mile the road runs over a se- 
ries of dry barrancas, or ravines, which cross 
it diagonally from the mountains on the left. 
It then descends to the lower level, where it 
follows a very narrow strip of land lying be- 
tween the stream and several abrupt spurs of 
the upper table, which jut out upon it, and 
which are separated from each other, at un- 
equal intervals, by barrancas much broader 
and deeper than the first, and parallel with 
them. Thence, onward, it winds gradually 
upward to the plain of La Encantada. At 
the point where the lower level is first struck 
in going southward, the strip of land between 
the first and highest spur and the perpendicu- 
lar bank of the stream, is barely wide enough 
for the passage of the road. That point 



8 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

is called La Angostuba, (E> — " The Narrows." 
Opposite, and in advance of it, the stream has 
worn a series of deep channels or gullies/ ) 
which form a perfect net-work, extending near- 
ly across the whole lower level to the moun- 
tains on the right, and present in themselves 
a formidable obstacle to the progress of any 
species of troops whatever ; being upwards 
of twenty feet in depth, with sides so precipi- 
tous as to prevent their being ascended, except 
at two narrow places, without the assistance 
of scaling-ladders.* Immediately to the left 
of La Angostura, a long point of land, <D) 
which constitutes the first and highest spur, 
as before remarked, advances from the upper 
table and terminates bluff to the road, which, 
towards the south, it commands for a great 
distance. Its sides are exceedingly steep, 
and its other extremity unites with a broad 
plateau above, which continues back to the 
mountains. This plateau (E) is over four 
hundred yards in width nearest the road, and 

* It is the opinion of Inspector-General Churchill, 
■who examined the ground carefully, that cavalry and in- 
fantry might have crossed them, without much difficulty, 
at two points ; viz. one midway between the stream and 
the mountains, and the other near their base. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 9 

some two hundred yards at its upper termi- 
nation. In rear of it there is a deep ra- 
vine, (F) too precipitous for the passage of 
artillery, and very difficult for cavalry ; in 
front, there is another, (G) still deeper and 
more difficult ; thence, all the way to La 
Encantada, the whole Pass to the left of the 
stream is a succession of alternate ridges 
and barrancas, wonderfully calculated to crip- 
ple the movements of cavalry and artillery, 
and to deprive infantry of any advantage it 
might otherwise possess by superiority in 
numbers. La Angostura, the high ridge con- 
necting it with the plateau, and the plateau 
itself, being, therefore, the most easy to be 
defended by a small army against a large one, 
were selected as the positions to be occupied 
by ours, should the necessity of abandoning 
Agua Nueva arise from Santa Anna's bringing 
against us a force greatly superior in the first 
two arms just named, which could there 
operate with freedom and rapidity, but here 
would be nearly paralyzed. 

Between the 10th and the 20th of Feb- 
ruary, the time was diligently employed in 
reconnoitring the roads and approaches, and 



10 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

in improving our troops in drill and disci- 
pline. General Taylor placed the whole 
camp, and the instruction of the troops, un- 
der the command and the direction of Gen- 
eral Wool, whose long experience, skill, and 
activity peculiarly fitted him for that respon- 
sible and arduous duty ; and each day's im- 
provement gave evidence of his indefatiga- 
ble exertions, as well as of the aptness and 
intelligence of the volunteers who were 
taught under his superintendence. 

Every day brought fresh rumors of the 
approach of Santa Anna with an army whose 
numerical strength, compared with that of 
ours, was sufficient to cause all to feel that 
the coming struggle must be of the most 
sanguinary character. Every man, therefore, 
however humble in rank, seemed to nerve 
himself for the contest, as if success de- 
pended on his individual efforts. The in- 
habitants of Saltillo, and even those of 
Monterey, began rapidly to desert those cities ; 
the few who were friendly to us warning us 
of our imminent peril, and the many who 
were inimical wearing a look of insolent 
exultation at the prospect of our speedy 
destruction. Our guards, night and day, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 11 

occupied every road and pass leading to our 
position, as well as to the city in our rear ; 
and our patrols and spies were thrown far 
out into the country on every side. Still, 
until the 20th of February, nothing could 
be discovered that would serve to corrobo- 
rate the reports, which we were continually 
receiving through the medium of the Mex- 
icans themselves, of the advance of their 
army. 

It was well known that General Minon, 
with a brigade consisting of 2000 of the 
choicest cavalry of the Republic, still hov- 
ered near us ; his head-quarters for the 
most of the time being at the hacienda of 
Potos'i, some sixty miles in a southeasterly 
direction from Agua Nueva ; a point, from 
which he could easily hold communication, 
both with Santa Anna and with the citizens 
of Saltillo and the neighboring country ; 
with the former by large forces, if necessary, 
by a high road running by the way of La 
Encarnacion, or by that of Matahuala to the 
south, and with the latter by spies, who 
could cross over the mountains at almost 
any point, or pass through them by intricate 
defiles, of which we were entirely ignorant. 



12 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

On Saturday, the 20th of February, a strong 
reconnoitring party, consisting of two com- 
panies of the 1st Dragoons, two companies 
of the 2d Dragoons, a section of Wash- 
ington's Battery, 4th Artillery, under Lieu- 
tenant O'Brien, and a sufficient number of 
volunteer cavalry to make in all a force of 
400 mounted men, — the whole commanded 
by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel May, of the 2d 
Dragoons, — was sent to the valley in which 
is situated the hacienda of Potosi, with a 
view, not only to ascertain the presence of 
Minon's brigade, but likewise to discover, if 
possible, whether the enemy might not be 
advancing in force through that valley to- 
ward Palomas Pass, * or approaching Buena 
Vista by the La Hedionda route. 

Colonel May was ordered not to attack the 
enemy, but to avoid him, if possible ; the 
purpose of his march being solely that of 
observation. At the same time that he was 
sent in this direction, Major Benjamin McCul- 
loch, with a small party of Texan spies, was 

* By great exertions the Mexican army might have 
come through this Pass, and entered the valley north 
of Saltillo. It is fair to say, however, that many who 
have examined this difficult defile are of a contrary 
opinion. See the Map of the country around Buena 
Yista. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 13 

ordered toward La Encarnacion, for a similar 
object. 

The rancho of La Hedionda and the ha- 
cienda of Potosi are situated, respectively, on 
the western and eastern sides of the same val- 
ley, and are about thirty miles distant from 
each other. Between them there extends, with- 
out any interruption, a level plain. At three 
o'clock in the afternoon, Colonel May arrived 
at La Hedionda, and immediately sent out 
piquets in various directions, to take a sweep- 
ing view of the whole valley. Hardly had he 
done so, when signal-fires were lighted on 
several peaks to the right and left of his 
position, and a large one near the top of the 
towering mountain in the immediate neigh- 
borhood of Potosi, the smoke of which could 
be seen at a great distance. Immense clouds 
of dust were soon afterwards observed to rise 
in the direction of the hacienda, indicating 
evidently the march of troops. To the left of 
La Hedionda, there is a long range of hills 
shooting off into the valley, like a spur, from 
the chain of mountains which lies between 
Agua Nueva and that place, and stretching 
about half way across the plain. The clouds 
of dust appeared to be moving around the 



14 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

distant point of those hills from the right. 
Colonel May was aware that directly over 
this range of hills, and only five miles distant, 
was another rancho, called Guachuchil, and 
that there passed by it a road from Potosi to 
Agua Nueva, which came into that over which 
he had just marched, midway from where he 
then was to the latter place. He therefore 
imagined that the clouds of dust, which had 
moved around in the direction of Guachuchil, 
were raised by General Minon's brigade, on 
its march to get a position between him and 
our main army, for the purpose of intercepting 
his return. To be sure whether such was the 
fact, he directed Lieutenant Sturgis, of the 
2d Dragoons, with one man to accompany 
him, to proceed to the top of the range of hills 
before mentioned, in order to reconnoitre the 
valley in the neighborhood of the rancho 
beyond. This was at about five o'clock in 
the afternoon ; and, as the ascent was very 
difficult, it was nearly sunset before the Lieu- 
tenant arrived at the summit. No sooner had 
he done so, however, than his comrades at La 
Hedionda heard a heavy volley of musketry 
at that point, and supposed he and the man 
with him had fallen into an ambuscade, and 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 15 

been sacrificed. Night setting in, and some 
of the piquets, which had been expected to 
return before dark, not having yet come back, 
it was feared that they, too, had met with a 
similar fate. These events led Colonel May 
to believe that the enemy's troops, in consider- 
able force, were very near him ; but where 
they were exactly, and in what numbers, he 
was wholly at a loss to determine. The 
peones at the rancho were exceedingly terri- 
fied, and either could not, or would not, im- 
part any information on the subject. Colonel 
May decided to stay where he was until morn- 
ing, and not to abandon the valley until he 
should know definitely what had been the 
fate of the officers and men whom he had 
detached. As he had no doubt he should be 
attacked during the night, he prepared at once 
for a vigorous defence of his position. Bales 
of cotton, which were found at the rancho in 
great abundance, were placed at each end of 
a street running through it ; and, at each tem- 
porary breastwork thus formed, Lieutenant 
O'Brien had one of his pieces. The men 
were dismounted to occupy the different build- 
ings and yards, while the horses were kept 
saddled and ready for any immediate service 
that circumstances might require. 



16 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

The long hours of watching and anxiety 
wore slowly away, and the uncertainty, as 
to what had befallen the gallant fellows who 
were absent, filled every heart with despon- 
dency. By nine o'clock, all the piquets had 
returned but one, of twelve men, commanded 
by Lieutenant Wood, of the 2d Dragoons ; 
but none of them had seen any thing of the 
enemy. As Lieutenant Wood and his party, 
and Lieutenant Sturgis, if alive and at liberty, 
should have been back hours before, there no 
longer remained a doubt but that they had 
either been destroyed or captured. 

It was past ten o'clock, when a man, 
dressed like one of the peones at the rancho, 
desired to speak with Colonel May. This 
man # communicated the important intelli- 
gence, that General Miiion was not only 
within a short distance,f but that Santa Anna 
himself, with an army of 30,000 men, was 
at La Encarnacion that morning, and would 

* "A deserter from the regiment of Comceros, a native 
of Saltillo, named Francisco Valdes, passed over from La 
Encarnacion to the enemy, and gave him information of 
the movement. The execrable treason of this infamous 
■wretch frustrated the best combinations." — Santa Anna's 
Report of the Battle. 

t He was then at Guachuchil. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 17 

attack General Taylor, at Agua Nueva, the 
following day. 

To stay at La Hedionda a moment longer 
■was out of the question. Colonel May had 
all the regular cavalry of General Taylor's 
army, and a section of his artillery, — a num- 
ber and description of troops that could not 
be spared in the event of an engagement ; 
and it was instantly determined to make a 
forced march during the night, in order to join 
him before the battle should begin. The 
signal to advance was immediately made 
known to the enemy, by the discharge of 
two muskets on the very eminence where it 
was believed poor Sturgis had fallen ; and two 
or three new fires blazed up on the adjacent 
mountains. Every one supposed that they 
were intended to give General Minon intelli- 
gence of the moment when the column should 
commence its return, and that he had already 
arrived at the junction of the two roads, or 
was making a rapid march thither, to cut it 
off. Every thing was accordingly prepared for 
instant combat. A strong advance-guard was 
thrown far to the front, and flankers were sent 
out two hundred yards to the right and left, 
to prevent surprise. The artillery kept the 
2 



18 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

road, ready to come into battery at the shortest 
notice, being supported on the right and left 
by the 1st and 2d Dragoons, respectively, 
while the volunteer force brought up the rear. 
When the column had got well into the pass 
through the mountains, new signals, to indi- 
cate that it had done so, were made on their 
summits by the burning of fire-balls. Thus it 
moved on in the cold and the darkness, every 
man believing the next moment would find 
him in deadly encounter with the enemy, yet 
determined to cut his way to the support of 
the devoted little army remaining with our 
brave old general. 

Contrary to expectation, General Mifion 
did not make an attack, as he should have 
done. The night wore away, the deep 
defiles and narrow valleys were successively 
passed, and, before daybreak on the morning 
of the 21st of February, the column again 
joined the main army, after a march of 
sixty miles in less than twenty-one hours. 
The party under Lieutenant Wood also 
came in shortly afterwards. He had not 
been surprised, as all had feared, but had 
been unable to find the rancho in the dark- 
ness, until after Colonel May had left it j 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 19 

and, what appeared remarkable, he had not 
discovered a single trace of the enemy in 
his whole tour. 

So far the expedition, with the exception 
of the loss of Lieutenant Sturgis and the 
dragoon who was with him, had been ex- 
ceedingly fortunate. It was now known be- 
yond a doubt, that the Mexican army was 
really near us, and meditating an immediate 
attack. By twelve o'clock on the 21st, Major 
McCulloch likewise returned, and confirmed 
all that Colonel May had heard, except as 
to the prospect of Santa Anna's arriving at 
Agua Nueva that day. The Major had been 
in the immediate vicinity of La Encarnacion, 
and with great adroitness had managed to 
get such positions as to enable him, with- 
out being observed, to see the whole force, 
and to estimate very nearly the strength of 
the different arms. He believed the whole 
to be upwards of 20,000 men, with a large 
proportion of cavalry and artillery. 

As every thing now depended on the issue 
of the expected battle, — as the glory of the 
American arms, our own lives, and what- 
ever we had hitherto gained or might hope to 
achieve hereafter, would be involved in the 



20 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

disastrous consequences of a defeat, and all 
must be hazarded on making one bold stand, 
— it was determined, after mature considera- 
tion, in order that the enemy's advantages 
should be diminished as much as possible, to 
abandon Agua Nueva, and to fall back on the 
position in front of Buena Vista. That point 
could not well be turned ; and the nature 
of the ground, as has already been re- 
marked, would seriously obstruct the opera- 
tions of Santa Anna's cavalry and artillery, 
his two favorite and most formidable arms. 
There was still another important object to 
be gained by this movement, which will 
hereafter be explained. Our little army, 
therefore, marched back and encamped again 
in the immediate neighborhood of the ha- 
cienda/ H) one mile and a half in the rear of 
La Angostura, at which place Colonel Har- 
din's First Regiment of Illinois Yolunteers 
had alone been halted, with orders to oc- 
cupy the high tongue of land (D) command- 
ing the road. By falling back thus far 
from the spot selected for the final issue, 
the army had a better ground to encamp 
upon, and also, close at hand, an abundant 
supply of water. Another advantage was 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 21 

wisely anticipated from this disposition of 
our troops, who would thus not be obliged 
to await in their camp the attack, but 
would, at the proper moment, move forward 
to meet it, and thereby gain, aside from 
every other consideration, the moral effect 
which the mere fact of advancing to the 
conflict would be sure to produce, especial- 
ly on troops unaccustomed to battle. 

A considerable amount of stores was stih 
remaining at Agua Nueva, and all the af- 
ternoon and evening of the 21st were 
diligently employed in bringing them away , 
Colonel Yell, with a part of his regiment 
of Arkansas Mounted Volunteers having been 
ordered to remain behind and protect them 
to the last moment. 

Santa Anna did not leave La Encarnacion 
until noon on the 21st of February. He 
then put his troops in motion in the fol- 
lowing order. Four battalions of light in- 
fantry, under General Ampudia, composed his 
advance-guard. This division was followed 
by a brigade of artillery of 16-pounders, with 
a regiment of engineers and their train ; and 
these, by the park of the regiment of hussars. 
Then came his first division of heavy infantry, 



22 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

under General Lombardini, with five 12-pound- 
ers and their park. His second division, under 
General Pacheco, followed next, with eight 
8-pounders and their park ; after them, the 
divisions of his cavalry under General Ju- 
vera. Then followed the remainder of his 
cannon, with the general park and baggage, 
the rear being covered by a brigade of lan- 
cers under General Andrade. His artillery 
consisted of three 24-pounders, three Im- 
pounders, five 12-pounders, eight 8-pounders, 
and a 7-inch howitzer ; in all, twenty guns, 
besides several siege pieces, not mounted, but 
drawn in wagons. Of cavalry he had 4338, 
without including the collateral force of 2000 
under General Minon ; and his engineers, sap- 
pers, artillery, and infantry, amounted to 
upwards of 17,000 men.* 

In this order of march the Mexican army 
proceeded from La Encarnacion ; and, having 
passed the Plan de la Guerra, and the 
narrow defile known as the Pass of Pirlones, 
a distance of twenty-five miles, halted, in 
the same order, in a little valley which ex- 

* This estimate is based on the orders and a subse- 
quent report of Santa Anna, and on the statements of 
Mexican officers and other prisoners, who fell into our 
hands. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 23 

tends from the latter place to the Pass of 
Carnero (near Agua Nueva), the light infantry, 
under General Ampudia, pushing on to that 
point. 

Up to this moment, Santa Anna imagined 
that General Taylor remained entirely igno- 
rant of his movement. He had taken the 
precaution to have General Minon's 2000 
cavalry hovering about our forces for nearly 
the whole winter ; not so much to annoy 
us, as to blind us to the approach of his 
main army ; shrewdly concluding that our 
spies and reconnoitring parties would mis- 
take the advance of the latter for the occa- 
sional marches, from point to point, of the 
former, and not take alarm until he should 
be upon us in sufficient strength to destroy 
us at a blow. As he acted, therefore, under 
the impression that all his plans for con- 
cealment had thus far been successful, his 
purpose in sending General Ampudia forward 
during the night, was to occupy the Pass of 
Carnero, in case it should not be already in 
the possession of our troops and fortified. 
He supposed that if, by any possibility, Gen- 
eral Taylor knew of his approach, he would 
certainly dispute the passage of that point ; 



24 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

but, if not, which appeared to him probable, 
he hoped to surprise him by daybreak the fol- 
lowing morning in his camp at Agua Nueva. 
It was long after dark when orders were 
given for the two companies of the 1st Dra- 
goons, and a part of the regiment of Ken- 
tucky Mounted Volunteers, to return from 
the camp at Buena Vista to the assistance 
of Colonel Yell, in case the enemy should 
attempt to cut him off; and directions were 
sent to him, in the event of an attack, to 
fire the hacienda of Agua Nueva, and de- 
stroy the stores he might be unable to re- 
move, and then to fall back on the position 
occupied by the army. It was nearly mid- 
night when these troops arrived there. They 
had hardly formed, when Colonel Yell's ad- 
vanced piquet, stationed in the Pass of Car- 
nero, was attacked by the Mexican light 
division and driven in ; * our men not even 
waiting to determine whether those who 

* Our piquets had met with patrols from General 
Minon's brigade on several previous occasions down this 
road toward La Encarnacion, and shots had been ex- 
changed between them. Ampudia justified his firing, and 
the risk of thereby alarming our camp, by saying he 
believed our men had mistaken his own for General 
Miiion's troops. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 25 

fired upon them were mounted or on foot. 
The order was immediately given to set fire 
to the buildings, and at the same time the 
whole train of both loaded and empty wag- 
ons moved off with furious speed for Buena 
Vista ; the troops remaining behind until all 
the stores were consumed. 

The burning of the buildings, and of several 
large stacks of unthreshed grain, illumined the 
whole valley of La Encantada, and painted 
the rugged and picturesque features of the 
surrounding mountains in bright relief against 
the murky shadows of the intervening gorges. 
Perhaps no single picture of some of the 
most striking effects of war could produce a 
stronger or more lasting impression, than the 
one here exhibited. The noise of the falling 
timbers, the roar of the flames, the huge col- 
umn of ascending smoke, the appearance of 
armed and mounted men moving between the 
spectator and the fire, with the brilliant light 
flashing here and there on burnished arms 
and glittering appointments, — taken in con- 
nection with the scattered shots interchanged 
between still other of our advanced parties 
and those of Ampudia, the heavy rumbling 
of our rapidly retreating train of wagons, in- 



26 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

termingled with the distant trumpet-signals 
now and then faintly heard in the direction 
of the approaching enemy, — all conspired to 
render that cold, deep midnight, one which 
could never he forgotten. Besides, the scene 
of that conflagration, with its attendant cir- 
cumstances, was invested with another and 
more fearful interest ; for it awakened the re- 
flection, that the coming morrow was to be- 
hold the two armies, now so near each other, 
in mortal strife, the issue of which no one 
could contemplate without intense anxiety. 

It was daybreak on the morning of the 22d 
of February, when all our cavalry had re- 
turned to Buena Vista, leaving the whole val- 
ley of La Encantada open to the enemy. But 
before that time Santa Anna had again put 
the heavy masses of his column in motion for 
the Pass of Carnero, being still under the im- 
pression that he should be able to come sudden- 
ly upon General Taylor's force at Agua Nueva, 
and to cut it up before it could be suitably 
disposed for battle. Great, therefore, was his 
astonishment on coming through the moun- 
tain gorge, far enough to command a view 
of that place, to find it entirely abandoned. 
At first he imagined our forces had retired 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 27 

under the cover of intrenchments, which he 
had heard we had thrown up; and he im- 
mediately directed his troops so as to turn 
our right, in order to gain La Encantada 
and the road between us and Saltillo, in ac- 
cordance with a part of one of his three 
previous plans of operation. But, upon ap- 
proaching the ruins of the hacienda, a Mex- 
ican servant, whom he found there, informed 
him that our army had been evacuating its 
position ever since the preceding day, and 
had fallen back toward the city. By this 
movement, all his purposes, based upon the 
expectation of resistance at Agua Nueva, 
were rendered abortive. But this masterly 
strategy of our commander, hi his change 
of position, was then, as had been calculated, 
construed by Santa Anna into a precipitate 
retreat. Therefore, without pausing to refresh 
his already exhausted troops, he pushed on 
with his whole cavalry force and his light 
division, to cut us to pieces. This he be- 
lieved he could the more readily accomplish, 
as he had previously ordered General Mifion, 
with his 2000 choice troops, to get in rear of 
us, if possible, at Buena Vista ; if not, by the 
Pass of Palomas Adentro, and a narrow and 



28 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

winding pathway over the mountains to the 
valley east of Saltillo.* Supposing that order 
already executed, he indulged the hope that 
he could yet entrap, between two formida- 
ble portions of his army, what he imagined 
to be our panic-stricken and fugitive col- 
umns. Elated by such a brilliant prospect, 
he urged more rapidly forward his weary and 
nearly famished troops, leaving directions for 
his artillery and heavy infantry to follow as 
fast as possible. 

Thus, by General Taylor's falling back to 
Buena Vista, he caused Santa Anna to become 
inspired with the hope just mentioned. Under 
its influence, he compelled his whole army, 
already suffering from thirst and worn down 
by the fatigue of a continuous march of 
thirty-five miles over a desert, to hurry on 
fourteen more, without rest, and with only 
the refreshment of a meagre repast and a sin- 
gle draught of water. 

* General Minon says in his Report, that Santa Anna 
did not direct or suggest the latter movement until the 
evening of the 22d ; that before that time he (General 
Minon) had taken the responsibility of moving thither, 
and had gained a position east of the town, as soon 
as he could do so after he had learned that General 
Taylor had fallen back on Buena Vista. Santa Anna 
himself is the opposing authority. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 29 

No calculations could have had results more 
fortunate than those of General Taylor. San- 
ta Anna had cherished the vain belief that 
his antagonist remained totally ignorant of his 
movements ; and, by his extreme solicitude to 
keep up that ignorance until the moment of 
attack, he permitted himself to be completely 
out-generalled, even on this very point. For 
his own place and condition were perfectly 
known, while he himself remained, as he 
unwillingly admits, entirely in the dark as to 
those of General Taylor, whose retrograde 
and apparently confused and hurried march 
decoyed him into what he has since termed 
a Thermopylas. It is very doubtful if, with 
all his superiority of numbers, he could have 
been induced to venture to this spot, had not 
his elation at the prospect of our speedy de- 
struction borne him so far forward before he 
was undeceived as to our flight, that he could 
not recede, nor avoid a battle, without dis- 
grace. 

He was, therefore, singularly unfortunate in 
thus having the scene of his anticipated en- 
gagement so suddenly, unexpectedly, and, as it 
were, mysteriously changed from a known to 
an unknown point. Nor was he less so as to 



30 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

the time he had selected for it. If, in the 
whole year, there be one day, above all others, 
when the heart of an American is naturally 
animated by the purest sentiments of patriot- 
ism, — when all that is greatest and best in his 
country's history is brought most vividly to 
his mind, as an example that should strength- 
en his purpose, and nerve his arm, to emulate 
the glorious deeds of the Past, — that is the 
day which gave birth to the Father of his 
Country. But it was on the morning of 
Washington's Birthday, that Santa Anna in- 
dulged in the delusive hope, that an army of 
Americans, unmindful of its sublime associa- 
tions, and. recreant to their country and their 
name, had basely fled before him. 

It was eight o'clock when the "long roll" 
called our men to arms. No one, who there 
witnessed the cheerful alacrity with which 
they seized their weapons, and sprang to their 
places in the lines, — who saw the firm re- 
solve impressed on every countenance in that 
determined little band, — can ever forget the 
sight. 

Every banner was unfurled to the bright 
sun and enlivening breeze ; and, as the various 
bands of music struck up the national air of 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 31 

" Hail, Columbia" the sacred battle-cry, — 
"The Memory of Washington!" — passed 
from regiment to regiment, and from corps to 
corps, amid the most enthusiastic shouts. 

Could the friends at home, of those here 
marshalled for the conflict, have seen the spirit 
which animated them ; could they have be- 
held them cut off from the hope of returning 
with honor to all they loved, except through 
their own brave exertions, surrounded,* as 
they were, by foes bent on their destruction, 
proverbially merciless, smarting under the dis- 
grace of recent defeats, and now about to fight 
under the immediate eye of their most distin- 
guished general ; — could their dearest friends 
have seen them thus, not one but would have 
glowed with pride at their gallant bearing, 
and would himself have girded on their arms, 
and, invoking for them the aid of the God of 
Battles, would, in the spirit of the heroic 
past, have bid them go forth to victory, or, 
if it must be, to the sacrifice. 

* The 2000 cavalry, under General Mifion, had already- 
come through the Pass of Palomas Adentro in rear of us ; 
and General Urrea and General Romero, with another 
brigade of cavalry, had previously been sent through the 
mountains by the way of Tula, and were at this time on 
the road east of Monterey. — ■ See Santa Anna's Report* 



32 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

General Taylor had not yet returned from 
Saltillo, whither he had proceeded, on the eve- 
ning of the 21st, with a small force, to make 
dispositions for its defence. General Wool, 
therefore, being next to him in rank, com- 
manded the troops during his absence, and 
now gave the order to move forward to the 
battle-ground. It was received with three 
hearty cheers, when the regiments and corps 
broke into column, and each, to the time of 
some lively air, moved rapidly off to its posi- 
tion. 

In the mean time, Santa Anna's cavalry 
came thundering along the valley of La En- 
cantada, and down the road through the 
Pass, a vast cloud of dust distinctly marking 
its progress. The first evidence it received, 
that any check would be offered to its onward 
course to Saltillo, was the sight of Washing- 
ton's Battery of eight pieces, which had been 
directed by General Wool to occupy La An- 
gostura, and was then advancing over the 
crest of a ridge, and descending the slope of 
the road leading to that position ; and of the 
First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, which 
was already on the high ridge to the left of it. 
As soon as the enemy discovered this force, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 33 

and before he had come within range of 
Washington's guns, his bugles sounded a halt. 
Immediately afterwards, all the more advanced 
squadrons wheeled about, and retired behind a 
protecting elevation of the ground, (I) while 
those in the rear came rapidly up, and formed 
upon them. In a short time, then compact 
and serried masses, thus accumulated, with 
their flags and pennons flying, and their bright 
lances sparkling in the sun, extended from the 
stream nearly half way to the mountains on 
our left. 

By this time General Wool had placed 
our troops in their several positions,* and the 
following was the order of battle for the 
22d of February. Captain Washington's 
Battery occupied the road at La Angostura, 
supported by Colonel Hardin's First Regiment 
of Illinois Yolunteers, posted, as before re- 
marked, on the elevated tongue of land 
which extends from that point to the plateau. 
The Second Regiment of Illinois Yolunteers 
and one company of Texans, the whole 
under Colonel Bissell, were on its left, and 

* That is, the very first positions of the several regi- 
ments and corps. Every change they afterwards made 
ia noted in the text. 

3 



34 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

near the foot of the plateau ; while the Second 
Regiment of Kentucky Volunteers, under 
Colonel McKee, occupied the crest of a ridge 
in the rear of Washington's Battery, around 
which the road, divided, runs. The Arkansas 
and Kentucky Regiments of Mounted Volun- 
teers, commanded, severally, by Colonel Yell 
and Colonel Marshall, were stationed on the 
extreme left, near the base of the mountains ; 
while the brigade of Indiana Volunteers, un- 
der General Lane (composed of the Second 
Regiment, commanded by Colonel Bowles, and 
the Third by Colonel Lane), the First Regi- 
' ment of Mississippi Riflemen under Colonel 
Jefferson Davis, Captain S teen's squadron of 
the 1st Dragoons, Lieutenant-Colonel May's 
squadron of the 2d Dragoons, and the light 
Batteries of Captains Sherman and Bragg, oc- 
cupied, as a reserve, the next ridges immedi- 
ately in rear of the right of the plateau and 
of the ground of the Illinois Volunteers. In 
this position our army awaited the attack. 

The situation of the troops was now such 
that most of them could command a view 
of the upper end of the pass and the open- 
ing to the valley beyond. The enemy was 
evidently waiting for the arrival of his rear 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 35 

columns. In the mean time, General Tay- 
lor had returned from Saltillo. As he rode 
along our lines, he was everywhere received 
with the most enthusiastic cheers; and the 
sound of each wild hurrah could be distinctly 
heard by those of the Mexican army who 
had already arrived on their ground. 

General Wool also rode along the lines, 
and addressed a few spirited and patriotic 
remarks to each regiment and corps which 
he passed. He reminded the troops of his 
own column particularly of their past labors, 
and their protracted and weary marches * to 
find the enemy, who now stood before them 
in sufficient strength to give them all they 
could require in the way of combat, and to 
afford every man an opportunity to win all 
the distinction he could wish. And he sug- 
gested to the minds of all the great good 
fortune which was theirs, to be called more 
signally to mark the anniversary of a day 
already hallowed to their country, and one 
on which no man could be unfaithful to the 
trust she had confided to him, — ■ that of 
maintaining the glory of her arms and the 

* See Appendix, A. 



36 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

lustre of the American name as bright and 
unsullied as they had been left by her great- 
est general, to whom this day had given 
birth. This was, likewise, responded to by 
three hearty cheers. 

For a long time, the engineers and topo- 
graphical engineers of both armies were busily 
employed ; ours, in moving far to the front, 
to get a more accurate view of their differ- 
ent forces as they came up, and to learn 
their several positions, — and theirs, in gain- 
ing elevated points between the two lines, to 
reconnoitre our ground and the disposition 
of our troops. Our exact strength they al- 
ready knew from their spies and from their 
friends in Saltillo. 

Meanwhile Santa Anna sent in a flag of 
truce* to General Taylor, with the following 
note : 

"Head-Quarters of the Liberating 
Army of the Republic. 
"You are surrounded by twenty thousand men, and 
cannot, in any human probability, avoid suffering a rout 

* The bearer of this flag was a German, named Van- 
derlinden, then tbe Surgeon- General of the Mexican army. 
lie seemed very anxious to impress upon the mind of the 
officer who met him the important fact, that Santa Anna 
had twenty-three generals with him, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 37 

and being cut to pieces with your troops. But, as you 
deserve from me consideration and particular esteem, I 
wish to save you from a catastrophe ; and for that pur- 
pose I give you this notice, in order that you may sur- 
render at discretion, under the assurance that you will 
be treated Avith the consideration belonging to the Mex- 
ican character. To this end, you will be granted an 
hour's time to make up your mind, to commence from 
the moment when a flag of truce arrives in your camp. 
With this view, I assure you of my particular considera- 
tion. 

" God and Liberty ! Camp at Encantada, February 22, 

1847. 

"ANTO. LOPEZ DE SANTA ANNA. 

"To General Z. Taylor, 

" Commanding the Forces of tlie United States." * 

In answer to the foregoing, General Taylor 
immediately despatched this note : 

"Head-Quarters, Armt of Occupation, 

Near Buena Vista, Feb. 22, 1847. 
" Sir : In reply to your note of this date, summoning 
me to surrender my forces at discretion, I beg leave to 
say that I decline acceding to your request. 
" With high respect, I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

"Z. TAYLOR, 
" Major- General U. S. A., Commanding. 
"Senor General D. Anto. Lopez de Santa Anna, 
" Commanding in chief, Encantada." 

* See Appendix, C, 



38 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

A short time afterwards,* the whole of the 
Mexican army had come up and been formed 
upon their ground in the following order : 

The first and second divisions of infantry 
were placed in two lines, one in rear of the 
other, on one of the ridges in front of our 
position ; there being another and rather more 
elevated one between us. A battery of Im- 
pounders, supported by the regiment of engi- 
neers, was established on a higher point on 
their right ; and two others, of 12 and 8 
pounders, and the 7-inch howitzer, on their 
left and near the road. The latter were placed 
in battery by Santa Anna in person ; the for- 
mer, by his Chief of Engineers, General Mora 
y Villamil, and his Chief of Artillery, Gen- 
eral Corona. The cavalry was then disposed 
in rear of his right and left flanks, and the 
regiment of hussars, — Santa Anna's personal 
guard, — in rear of the centre. There was 
a small eminence on his left, directly upon 
the road, and in front of Washington's Bat- 
tery, which the beautiful battalion of Leon 

* "We took a position and awaited the infantry, -which 
arrived at one o'clock, having taken on the road five wag- 
ons, and some provisions and forage left by the enemy." — 
Mexican Engineer's Report of the Battle. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 39 

was ordered to occupy. The general park 
was placed in rear of all, and covered by the 
brigade of General Andrade. Santa Anna's 
own position was the same as that of his 
hussars. 

It was past two o'clock before all these ar- 
rangements had been completed. In the inter- 
val, General Ampudia and Colonel Baneneli, 
with the four battalions of light infantry, 
were directed to get possession of one of two 
gradual slopes (J) of the mountain to the left 
of the plateau. This movement being ob- 
served, a portion of the Arkansas and Ken- 
tucky Yolunteers, and a small battalion from 
the Indiana brigade, all on foot, and armed 
with rifles, were placed under the command 
of Colonel Marshall, and sent up the other 
slope (K> to resist them. While these troops 
were approaching each other, and severally 
climbing up their opposite ridges (which, it 
should be remarked, draw closer and closer 
together, and finally unite near the summit of 
the mountain), each evidently endeavoring to 
outflank the other, a movement was made 
on the enemy's left, which induced General 
Taylor to order a corresponding one on our 
right. Accordingly, Captain Bragg's Light 



40 BATTLE OF BTJENA VISTA. 

Battery, with Colonel McKee's Regiment of 
Kentucky foot Volunteers as a support, was 
sent across the stream, to occupy a position 
between it and the mountains on that side, 
and somewhat in advance of the Battery at 
La Angostura. 

Captain Washington had already detached 
two of his pieces, which were sent up to the 
left of the plateau, under Lieutenant Bryan, 
of the Topographical Engineers, then tem- 
porarily on duty in the artillery, — ' when he 
was asked by General Wool, if he could spare 
still another. 

" Yes," said he. 

" But what will become of this key to our 
position, if you are deprived of three of your 
guns ? " 

" I will defend it," was his gallant re- 
ply ; and he immediately detached Lieutenant 
O'Brien, then commanding his first section, 
with another piece. 

When this gun was joined to the section 
already on the plateau, Lieutenant O'Brien 
took command of the whole ; the Second 
Regiment of Indiana Volunteers being ordered 
up to sustain him. 

At three o'clock precisely, the enemy opened 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 41 

the battle by firing a shell from his howitzer 
at this part of our lines. Immediately after- 
wards, Ampudia's light division became warmly 
engaged with our riflemen, on the side of the 
mountain ; the former discharging their pieces 
in continuous and rapid volleys ; the latter, 
lying behind the crest of their ridge, firing 
deliberately, and doing terrible execution with 
their unerring weapons. From that time until 
dark, these troops continued the conflict with- 
out changing their positions, except to ap- 
proach each other by climbing still higher up 
the mountain, until, at last, there were two 
lines of combatants from near the plateau to 
its very summit. 

The fighting in this quarter, together with 
an occasional cannonade, directed by the ene- 
my at the troops on the plateau, constituted the 
action of the 22d ; the two armies not becom- 
ing regularly engaged on that day. At dark, 
a shell was thrown into the air by the enemy, 
as a signal for his light division to cease the 
contest ; and not a gun was fired afterwards, 
by either side, for the whole night, except a 
few shots now and then exchanged between 
the advanced piquets and moving patrols of 
the two forces. 



42 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

The loss on the American side during this 
day's contest was very trifling, four men only 
being wounded ; while that of the Mexican 
army was over three hundred,* in killed and 
wounded. 

By night fall, Colonel Hardin's First Regi- 
ment of Illinois Volunteers had completed a 
parapet on the high ridge it occupied, extend- 
ing along its whole front ; and, under the 
direction of our engineers, had dug a ditch and 
thrown up an epaulment in front of Wash- 
ington's Battery, with a traverse upon its right, 
continuing the ditch and a slight breastwork 
from thence to the brink of the impassable 
gullies of the stream. This ditch was occu- 
pied by an immediate supporting force de- 

* "The enemy, so soon as he perceived that we had 
occupied the height that flanked his left and our right, 
detached two battalions to dislodge us, which led to a 
■warm engagement, that lasted all the afternoon and till 
after dark, when he was repulsed with a loss of four hun- 
dred men, according to the report of the prisoners. Ours 
was much less, as we had the advantage of the ground." — 
Santa Anna's Report of the Battle. 

"The enemy tried in vain to dislodge them [Ampudia's 
light battalions] from their position, by moving against it a 
heavy column ; and was compelled to retire, leaving the 
ravine [between the two slopes] filled with wounded." — 
Mexican Engineer s Report, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 43 

tached from Colonel Hardin's regiment, con- 
sisting of two companies, and commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Weatherford. To provide 
for the contingency of the advance of our 
batteries during the battle, a small opening 
was left between the left of the epaulment 
and the high bluff, sufficiently wide for the 
passage of cannon. But, in order to prevent 
the enemy from having the advantage of it 
in case of an assault, it was choked up by 
two wagons, laden with stones, and having 
their wheels locked by chains. They could 
easily be removed by us, and the way be 
opened in case of necessity. 

Early hi the day, General Mifion, with his 
brigade, had entered the valley east of Saltillo, 
as Santa Anna had anticipated ; but the latter, 
finding General Taylor had made a stand and 
was determined to offer him battle, sent di- 
rections to the former to remain in that quar- 
ter, and to fall upon us during our retreat 
before his overwhelming masses. In order 
the more certainly to insure that none of our 
army should escape, a thousand mounted ran- 
cheros, armed with lances and machetes, * 

* Ma-che-te, a kind of long, heavy knife, similar to those 
used in cutting down Indian corn. 



44 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

who had been collected at Monclova, Buena- 
ventura, and Parras, and were commanded by 
Colonel Miguel Blanco and Colonel Aguierra, 
were also sent from Patos, by a mule-path 
leading through the mountains, into the same 
valley. While, therefore, General Mifion was 
to hover about the east side of the road lead- 
ing from Saltillo to Monterey, along which, 
it was supposed, we should soon be flying in 
great confusion, Colonels Blanco and Aguierra 
were to occupy the small town of Capellania 
on the west, likewise to await our retreat, and 
to assist in cutting us up without quarter. 

General Taylor, feeling convinced from the 
dispositions of Santa Anna, that he would de- 
fer making his grand attack until the next 
morning, and fearing that the strong force in 
the rear of the city, where all our stores were, 
might make a movement to take it, left Gen- 
eral Wool in command, and again, at sunset, 
started from the field, with Colonel May's 
squadron of the 2d Dragoons, and Colonel 
Davis's Regiment of Mississippi Riflemen, for 
Saltillo, the better to provide for such an" 
emergency. On arriving there, he arranged 
that Warren's and Webster's commands should 
remain to garrison the town and redoubt, re- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 45 

spectively, as they had previously done ; and 
that the train and head-quarters camp, then 
established on the brow of the hill immediate- 
ly south of the town, should be defended by 
one 6-pounder, detached from Captain Bragg 's 
Battery, and under the command of Lieuten- 
ant Shover, with a support of two companies 
of Colonel Davis's riflemen, under Captain 
Rogers. 

After the action of the 22d had drawn to 
a close, Santa Anna made a final address to 
those of his troops that remained in our front. 
He referred to the wrongs which, he said, 
had been inflicted upon their country by 
the barbarians of the North; wrongs which 
could not be submitted to without eternal 
disgrace, and which could be redressed only 
by the last resort of nations. The United 
States of the North had, coward-like, pre- 
sumed on their strength alone, and wantonly 
set at defiance every principle of right. They 
had provoked this war under the cover of 
other objects to be gained, but really for their 
own aggrandizement, and the acquisition of 
territory clearly the property of the United 
States of the South. The one country aimed 
only at the entire destruction of the nation- 



46 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

ality of the other. He wished to call their 
whole attention to that single fact ; and not 
only to that, but to a thousand others, which, 
like that, would make them burn to take ter- 
rible vengeance on the mercenary invaders 
of their soil. He called upon them to look 
upon their country. What met their sight? 
Its possessions wrested away ; its dignity in- 
sulted ; its fair fields ravaged ; its citizens 
slaughtered; its hearths and homes made des- 
olate. Others had gone forth to vindicate 
these wrongs, but they had fallen ; and now 
their blood, which had drenched the fields of 
Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey, 
called on them, their brethren, with an elo- 
quence that must reach their hearts, to avenge 
their death. He reminded them, that they 
had crossed deserts, had suffered hunger, and 
thirst, and fatigue, without a murmur. Long 
and weary had been their march ; but now 
they should be rewarded with repose, and the 
enjoyment of the abundance which filled the 
ample granaries of the murderers of their breth- 
ren. He concluded by saying, that we were 
but a handful, and at his mercy ; that he had 
magnanimously offered to spare our lives, and 
even to treat us with consideration; but that 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 47 

we had vain-gloriously rejected his clemency, 
leaving, as the only alternative, our utter ex- 
termination, without pity or quarter.* 

This address was received with loud cries 
of " Viva Santana ! " " Viva la Republica ! " 
" Libertad o Muerte ! " — distinctly heard in 
our lines. After the shouting had ceased, San- 
ta Anna's own magnificent band commenced 
playing ; and, as the gentle breeze swept 
down the Pass toward us, each delicious strain 
seemed to float upon it, mellowed by dis- 
tance, yet distinct and inexpressibly sweet. 
For over half an hour it continued to delight 
our " barbarian ears " with the exquisitely 
beautiful airs of the sumiy south. When it 
had finished, and the last faint echo had sunk 
to rest, silence the most profound fell over 
the two armies like a pall. The huge moun- 
tains on each side reared their craggy heads 
high into the darkness above, and the Pass 
itself seemed to lie between them in deep 
gloom and utter solitude. No one could real- 
ize that there were so many thousands of 
human beings gathered together in that nar- 
row gorge. And it was a dreadful reflection, 

* The substance of this address was repeated to some 
of our officers by Mexicans who heard it. 



48 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

that so many of them, now full of life, and 
ambition, and high aspirations ; now visiting 
in thought their far-off homes and the dear 
ones there ; now the objects of pride and 
yearning solicitude ; now the centre of deep 
affection, of sacred love, and of long-cherished 
hopes, — would be stricken down in the full 
flush and vigor of manhood, and, ere another 
night should cast its dark mantle over the 
earth, would be numbered for ever among the 
things that were. 

At ten o'clock in the evening, the two com- 
panies of the 1st Dragoons were ordered by 
General Wool to return to Buena Vista, strike 
our camp, pack it in wagons, and then to park 
these carefully in one of the hollows between 
the hacienda and La Angostura. This ser- 
vice was completed by half past one o'clock, 
and the whole train arranged so as to be moved 
at the shortest notice. 

Until eleven o'clock on the evening of the 
22d, the weather was quite mild ; but at that 
hour a cold wind began to blow, and the sky, 
which before had been thickly overcast, be- 
came filled with dark and heavy drifts of 
clouds, which now and then let down slight 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 49 

showers of rain, more particularly up the 
mountain on our left, There the men suf- 
fered extremely from the cold. They gath- 
ered together the trunks of the yuca and the 
dry stalks of the sotol, and built themselves 
fires, until at length, up the whole side of the 
mountain, from near the plateau to the very 
top, light after light was kindled ; and for the 
whole night long each one was surrounded by 
a circle of shivering troops. All the rest of 
both armies remained in position, and slept 
upon their arms without fires.* 

About two o'clock in the morning of the 
23d, some of our advanced piquets were at- 
tacked by those of the Mexican army, and 
driven, in ; and, between that time and day- 
break, the light division of General Ampudia 
was reenforced by 2000 infantry from the di- 
visions of Generals Lombardini and Pacheco. 
Many of Ampudia' s command, when it had 
thus been augmented, clambered along near 
the summit of the mountain, and succeeded 
in gaining elevated positions to the left and 

* "In our position we passed the night, which was ab- 
solutely infernal, owing to the cold, rain, and wind, which 
last almost amounted to a hurricane, while we had neither 
food nor fuel." — Mexican Engineer's Report. 

4 



50 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

rear of our riflemen. It was also in this quar- 
ter, at the very first dawn of day, that the 
battle of the 23d commenced. 

General Wool, perceiving that the strength 
of the enemy in that direction was much 
greater than on the evening before, immedi- 
ately detached Major Trail, of the 2d Illinois 
Volunteers, with another small battalion of 
riflemen, including Captain Conner's company 
of Texas Volunteers, to reenforce the com- 
mand which had there engaged the enemy 
with much spirit, and, although contending 
with nearly eight to one, continued to main- 
tain very handsomely its own part of the 
mountain. It was soon assisted, likewise, by 
Lieutenant O'Brien, who, with the 2d Indiana 
Volunteers, had remained at the upper edge (L) 
of the plateau for the night. His pieces were 
one 12-pounder howitzer, one 6-pounder gun, 
and one 4-pounder. Just at sunrise, as great 
numbers of Ampudia's light troops poured 
down into the ravine which divided their slope 
of the mountain from the one occupied by 
our riflemen, he pushed forward his howitzer, 
and, although the distance and elevation were 
very great, succeeded in throwing directly into 
the midst of them some six or eight spherical- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 51 

case shot, which, exploding just at the proper 
time, did immense execution. Up to this mo- 
ment the discharge of the enemy's musketry on 
the side of the mountain had been incessant ; 
but, at the bursting of the first shot, it com- 
pletely ceased for several minutes, his troops 
being occupied in climbing still higher up and 
out of range. The accuracy and effect of 
Lieutenant O'Brien's firing on this occasion 
were so admirable, as to call forth the cheers 
of our whole line. 

In the mean time, the chief of Santa Anna's 
staff, General Micheltorena, succeeded in plant- 
ing a battery of 8-pounders at the upper termi- 
nation of the elevated ridge (M) already spoken 
of as lying between our position and that of 
the enemy, from which point he had a plung- 
ing fire on the plateau. His first efforts were 
against the pieces under Lieutenant O'Brien, 
but the distance was so great, that the latter 
did not attempt to answer him. 

While the battle was thus opened and con- 
tinued by the small force on our extreme left, 
the rest of our troops, under the direction of 
General Wool, were placed in their final posi- 
tion to await the attack then menaced in our 
front. Captain Bragg's Battery, supported by 



52 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Colonel McKee's regiment, remained at the 
same point (N) on our extreme right, to which 
it had been directed to proceed the evening 
before. Captain Washington's Battery con- 
tinued to occupy La Angostura/ B) sustained 
by Colonel Hardin's regiment * in the trenches 
on its right, and upon the high spur on its 
left. 

It should have been remarked, that the pla- 
teau is scalloped, on its side next the road, 
by three deep gorges, that run back into it. 
They are of unequal length; the shortest (0) 
being only a little in advance of the point 
where the high tongue of land, occupied by the 
1st Illinois Volunteers, joins the upper plain ; 
the next (P) still longer; and the third (GL) run- 
ning back more than half way from the road to 
the mountain. The six companies f of Colonel 
Bissell's Second Regiment of Illinois Volun- 
teers, which remained, were posted on the pla- 
teau opposite to the head of the middle gorge. (R) 

* That is, eight companies of it ; Captain Morgan's and 
Captain Prentiss's companies composing a part of Major 
Warren's command in Saltillo. 

t Two were in Saltillo, Captain Hacker's and Captain 
Wheeler's, — and two (besides the Texan company), Cap- 
tain Lemon's and Captain Woodward's, composed the bat- 
talion sent to the mountain under Major Trail. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 53 

On their left, and a little retired, was one 12- 
pounder howitzer, under Lieutenant French, 
and on their right, and also a little in the rear, 
one 6-pounder gun, under Lieutenant Thomas. 
Both these pieces belonged to Captain Sher- 
man's Battery, the other two, under the Cap- 
tain himself and Lieutenant John F. Rey- 
nolds, remaining in reserve, as on the 22d. (S> 
To the right and rear of Lieutenant Thomas's 
gun, were the two companies of the 1st Dra- 
goons, CT) and to the right and rear of them, 
and near the head of the first gorge, Major 
McCulloch's company of Mounted Texans. (U) 
Colonel Bowles's Second Regiment of Indiana 
Volunteers occupied the extreme left of the 
plateau, with Lieutenant O'Brien's three pieces 
on their right ; there being a long interval be- 
tween his guns and Lieutenant French's how- 
itzer on the left of the regiment under Colo- 
nel Bissell. Colonel Lane's Third Regiment 
of Indiana Volunteers occupied the small emi- 
nence (V) in rear of Washington's Battery, while 
all of the Arkansas and Kentucky Mounted 
Volunteers, who had not been detached to fight 
on foot, remained in the head of the broad 
ravine (W) in rear of the left of the plateau. 
The Mexican army was formed in three 



54 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

columns of attack. The first/ X) destined to 
move down the road and carry the Pass of La 
Angostura, was composed of the Regiment of 
Engineers, the Twelfth Regiment, the Regi- 
ment styled u Fijo de Mexico" the Battalion 
of Puebla, and the celebrated " Guar da Costa 
de Tampico." This column was commanded 
by General Mora y Villamil. The second 
column was composed of the divisions of 
Generals Lombardini and Pacheco, and was 
destined, one division (Y) to move directly 
across the ridge to the left of their 8-pounder 
battery, and the other (Z) to advance up the 
principal ravine in front of the plateau, where 
both, uniting near the mountain, were to turn 
the left of our force upon the plateau. The 
troops under General Ampudia were to com- 
pose the third/ J) destined to sweep the moun- 
tain, to turn our extreme left, and then, in 
conjunction with the second, to fall on our 
rear. The first two columns had each a strong 
supporting force of cavalry ; moreover, the 
12-pounder battery and the howitzer were 
brought farther forward, and established within 
range of La Angostura, on a slight eminence/ l) 
close to the road, and just to the right and rear 
of the small hill occupied by the battalion of 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 55 

Leon. (20> This battery was to assist the at- 
tack to be made by the first column. A pow- 
erful reserve/ 2) commanded by General Or- 
tega, remained on the ground occupied, on the 
night of the 22d, by Santa Anna's two front 
lines of battle. 

These arrangements, on both sides, com- 
pleted the preliminaries of the grand conflict. 
While they were in progress, our riflemen and 
Ampudia's force continued hotly engaged, and 
the enemy's battery of 8-pounders kept up a 
steady fire upon our troops on the left of the 
plateau/ L) 

As General Pacheco's division had fewer 
difficulties to overcome than that of General 
Lombardini, it had moved up the ravine and 
gained its position before the latter had united 
with it. General Lombardini's division, how- 
ever, had by that time passed the summit of 
the height where the 8-pounder battery was 
posted/ M) and began to descend the declivity 
toward the same ravine, but at a point higher 
up than that already occupied by General 
Pacheco. Both of these divisions, as has been 
already remarked, were supported by large 
bodies of dragoons' and lancers ; and, while Pa- 
checo's, being in the deep ravine in front, was 



56 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

concealed from view, Lombardini's was in full 
sight of nearly the whole of our army. And a 
most beautiful sight it was. The men were all 
in full dress, the horses were gayly caparisoned, 
and the arms of both cavalry and infantry 
shone bright as silver. Every regiment, corps, 
and squadron had its standards, colors, and 
guidons unfurled ; and, while the infantry 
marched steadily onward with a most perfectly 
marked and cadenced step, the cavalry moved 
with the regularity and precision it would 
have observed in an ordinary field review. 

Our lines, meanwhile, were standing quietly 
in position. Not a word was spoken, except- 
ing now and then, when some subdued ex- 
pression of admiration at the magnificent 
appearance of the enemy and the coolness 
with which they came forward to the combat, 
would involuntarily escape the lips of our 
brave and determined men. 

It was a time never to be forgotten, that 
short period which intervened between the 
final dispositions and the moment of attack. 
The morning was unusually bright and clear ; 
the sunlight seemed to cover with flashing dia- 
monds the burnished weapons and appointments 
of the Mexicans • while a cool and invigorating 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 57 

breeze displayed every flag, and sported with 
the gaudy and fluttering pennons of what 
appeared to be a countless forest of lances. 
The sharp rattle of musketry, the sullen reply 
of the deadly rifle, and the bugle-calls, inter- 
mingled with the shouts of those who were 
desperately struggling high up the mountain, 
came down upon the ear with an eloquent 
distinctness. All these circumstances, taken 
in connection with the roar of their cannon, 
and the rushing sound of the balls as they 
tore up the ground in the midst of us, or went 
screaming through the air above us, will come 
vividly back to the memory, until they shall 
be old men, who, for the first time, were 
standing silently there to await the rude 
shock of battle. 

Major Mansfield, of the Engineers, having 
reconnoitred the movements of the enemy 
from an advanced point, and ascertained the 
presence and exact position of General Pache- 
co's division, came back with the intelligence ; 
when Inspector-General Churchill rode to the 
left of the plateau/ L) and informed General 
Lane, that the enemy was then coming up, 
and across the main ravine in front. General 
Lane, at this moment, was the ranking officer 



58 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

on the plateau ; as General Wool, after super- 
intending in person the posting of all the 
troops and the final arrangements for battle, 
had a few minutes before gone down to La 
Angostura, to see that every thing was in 
readiness for repelling the first column under 
General Mora y Villamil, then on the march to 
attack that point. General Lane, therefore, im- 
mediately ordered forward Lieutenant O'Brien, 
with his three pieces of artillery, and the 
Second Regiment of Indiana Volunteers to 
support him. This force advanced over two 
hundred yards in front of all the other troops, 
and, having turned the head of the third 
gorge, was halted ; when Lieutenant O'Brien 
placed his section in battery, and, immediately 
afterwards, the column of companies displayed 
into line on his left, the front being changed 
diagonally forward towards the road. (3) 

General Pacheco's infantry had, by this 
time, begun to ascend from the ravine, and 
were forming in successive lines across the 
narrow ridge which divides it from the 
gorge ; (a> his lancers still remaining behind, 
under cover.* General Lane's infantry had 

* This is the time (nine o'clock, A. M.) selected to repre- 
sent on the annexed Plan of the Battle the position of our 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 59 

hardly completed its line, before it was opened 
upon by the Mexicans, then distant about 
two hundred yards. They were answered 
with promptness and great effect ; and Lieu- 
tenant O'Brien's guns, which were admirably 
served, swept down whole platoons of them at 
a discharge. The disparity between the two 
forces then engaged was at least ten to one in 
favor of the enemy ; and General Lane, in 
addition to the lire of the troops in his front, 
was nearly enfiladed by the 8-pounder battery 
on his left, which had now got so completely 
the range, that almost every shot took effect 
in his ranks. Notwithstanding this, he con- 
tinued the unequal conflict for twenty-five 
minutes. During that time, the front lines 
of General Pacheco's division were repeatedly 
thrown into confusion ; the whole of the new 
corps of Guanajuato, which formed its advance, 

own and the enemy's troops ; as it is considered to have 
been the moment when the grand conflict commenced. 
Colonel Davis's Mississippi Riflemen, Colonel May's 
Squadron of 2d Dragoons, Captain Albert Pike's Squad- 
I ron of Arkansas Mounted Volunteers, and a piece of 
artillery under Lieutenant Kilburn, being on the march 
from Saltillo, were not at this exact time near enough 
to the field of battle to be included within the space 
covered by the Plan. 



60 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

being either killed or dispersed. But, by his 
successive formations, he was enabled rapidly 
to supply the places of those destroyed, and to 
present a continuous sheet of fire. General 
Lane now determined to get out of the range 
of the battery on his left, by pushing still 
farther down the ridge ; hoping, at the same 
time, to force General Pacheco back into the 
ravine. He, accordingly, directed Lieutenant 
O'Brien to limber up, and advance some fifty 
or sixty yards farther to the right and front ; 
which being promptly done, the pieces were 
again placed in battery and commenced the 
slaughter. 

At this time, General Lane, being himself 
on the left of the 2d Indiana Volunteers, 
which were also to move forward and sustain 
Lieutenant O'Brien, had the mortification to 
see the companies breaking off, one by one, 
from the right, and retreating in great confu- 
sion ; Colonel Bowles, who commanded the 
regiment, having given, without his authority 
or knowledge, the order, " Cease firing, and 
retreat!'''' Nothing could have been more 
unfortunate. For, if General Lane's purpose 
had been promptly responded to by this regi- 
ment, which up to that moment had behaved 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 61 

with great gallantry, it is more than probable 
that General Pacheco's division Avould have 
been cut up in time to allow us to engage 
with our other and fresh troops that of Gen- 
eral Lombardini, before he could have crossed 
the ravine above and gained the plateau. If, 
instead of retreating, these troops had pressed 
vigorously forward, the success of the day 
would have been more complete; and there 
cannot be a doubt but that hundreds of val- 
uable lives would have been spared, which 
were afterwards sacrificed to regain the many 
and great advantages we lost in consequence 
of this, to say the least, ill-timed order.* 
Had it not been given, the patriotic state of 
Indiana, by a single effort of one of her regi- 
ments, would have been covered with glory .f 

* It is but justice to state, that, among officers of long 
experience, the belief is entertained, that the prime fault 
was one of rashness, and want of judgment, in placing 
this force in a position, which, they contend, neither this 
nor any other regiment could have maintained, — a posi- 
tion, moreover, which,they assert, it was not necessary to 
hold as one upon which others depended ; and that Gen- 
eral Lane should be made to bear a part of the odium 
which the regiment could not escape. Other officers of 
equal experience express the contrary opinion, as set forth 
in the text. 

f "About 3000 infantry, and a supporting force of caval- 



62 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

General Lane and his staff endeavored, by 
every possible inducement, to rally the men 
again, but all without avail. They precipi- 
tately fled, leaving the intrepid O'Brien, and 
his gallant subordinate, Lieutenant Bryan, en- 
tirely without support. For some minutes 
they held on to their position, single-handed ; 
their pieces, charged with two canisters at a 
time, sending scores on scores of the ene- 
my into eternity. The Mexicans, however, 
maintained their ground with great spirit, and 
soon cut up Lieutenant O'Brien's men and 
horses to such a degree, that, when he was 
finally pressed upon by the whole of the im- 
mense force arrayed against him, he was 
compelled reluctantly to limber up two of his 
guns, and retire from the point he had so 
nobly defended. He was obliged to leave 
the other piece, — the 4-pounder, — in the 

ry, commanded by General Pacheco, moved up to take this 
height, and at nine a heavy fire was opened. The cav- 
alry charged at the same moment. [Not tJiefact.'] Many of 
our corps acted badly, but much havoc, nevertheless, was 
made among the enemy, and the heights were carried by 
force of arms. We lost many men, and the new corps of 
Guanajuato was dispersed. If, at that juncture, we had 

BEEN ATTACKED WITH VIGOR, WE SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE 

been defeated." — Mexican Engineer's Report. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 63 

hands of the enemy ; not, however, until ev- 
ery man and horse belonging to it had been 
either killed or disabled. 

General Pacheco immediately followed up 
the advantage he had purchased at so much 
cost ; his cavalry advanced from its cover, and 
pressed forward on the right of his infantry ; 
while General Lombardini succeeded, at the 
same time, in crossing the ravine and uniting 
with him. The centre column was then en- 
tire, and so formidable in numbers as to appear 
completely irresistible. 

The 2d Illinois Volunteers, under Colonel 
Bissell, (R) — the squadron of 1st Dragoons, 
under Captain Steen, (T) — and the pieces of 
Lieutenants Thomas and French, — had re- 
tained their position, and received a desultory 
fire from a part of General Pacheco's infantry, 
which, during the conflict with General Lane, 
had succeeded in getting shelter in the third 
gorge. These troops were ordered to advance 
to a closer point just before the Indiana regi- 
ment gave way. Soon after they had gained 
it, and had come handsomely into action, the 
enemy's centre column was complete, and, 
being relieved from the resistance of General 
Lane's force, now concentrated its whole fire 



04 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

upon them. It was returned with deliberation 
and great effect. Every discharge of Thom- 
as's and French's pieces caused their immense 
masses to reel and waver, as the balls, open- 
ing a wide and bloody path, went tearing 
through them ; while the rapid musketry of 
the gallant troops of Illinois poured a storm 
of lead into their serried ranks, which literally 
strewed the ground with the dead and dying. 

It being impossible for our handful of regu- 
lar cavalry, then on the field, to gain any de- 
cided advantage by charging into such an 
overwhelming force, where, in one moment, 
it would have been completely destroyed, Cap- 
tain S teen was soon directed to remove it from 
its perilous situation back nearly to the ravine 
in rear. The dragoons had hardly fallen 
back, and McCulloch's mounted Texans (D) 
taken cover in the head of the first gorge, 
before the enemy, having continued to ad- 
vance notwithstanding his severe losses, had 
passed with a large portion of his troops be- 
tween the left of the Illinoians and the moun- 
tain ; (4) so that that regiment, — or rather the 
six companies of it, — and the two pieces from 
Sherman's battery, were soon receiving a fire 
in front, on their left flank, and from their left 
and rear, at the same moment. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 65 

Inspector-General Churchill, who remained 
with Colonel Bisseil, seemed at this time to 
be one of the chosen marks for the Mexican 
sharp-shooters; his horse being struck by 
three bullets in succession, and his reins cut 
in two by a fourth. The Illinois troops had 
ever been the particular favorites of that gal- 
lant veteran ; and he determined to stand by 
them personally, and see whether his predi- 
lections were not based upon good grounds. 
His pride in them was fully gratified at be- 
holding the unflinching firmness with which 
they maintained their position against such 
an immense host. At length, perceiving the 
danger they were in of being completely 
surrounded, he ordered Colonel Bisseil to fall 
back to a point near the ravine, to prevent 
that issue. As regularly as if on drill, Colonel 
Bisseil, having directed the signal, " Cease 
firing," to be made, gave the command, 
" Face to the rear ! Battalion, about face ! 
Battalion, for id ard, March ! " which was exe- 
cuted until the danger of being outflanked 
was past, when again, at the command to 
halt, given by Inspector-General Churchill, 
who had walked his horse slowly in front of 
the retiring regiment, these cool and deter- 
5 



66 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

mined men stopped, faced about, and resumed 
the fire with a promptness and precision which 
would have done credit to any troops in the 
service ; and all under a murderous storm of 
bullets from the enemy. Simple justice to 
these brave fellows renders it necessary that 
all the details of their conduct on this occa- 
sion should be given. Besides, it is an evi- 
dence of the manner in which troops, in their 
first battle, can behave, when they have been 
properly instructed and carefully disciplined. 
It is a sufficient encomium on them to say, 
that they had never before been under fire, 
and that during the short time they had been 
engaged (twenty minutes), they had lost, in 
killed and wounded, no less than eighty, in- 
cluding officers and men. Lieutenants Thom- 
as and French, — the latter wounded, — had 
likewise been obliged to fall back ; but they 
soon came into battery again, and, in conjunc- 
tion with Colonel Bissell's regiment, com- 
menced a well-directed fire at the enemy's 
left flank, as he endeavored to cross the pla- 
teau and gain our rear. 

Again, in justice to those who thus manful- 
ly disputed the ground, inch by inch, against 
such odds, it is necessary, yet mortifying, to 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 67 

state, that four companies of the Arkansas 
Volunteers/ 5 ' which had been dismounted and 
ordered to the plateau a few minutes before 
the action began, retired almost at the first 
fire, and became so much dispersed, that, as 
companies, they were not heard of again dur- 
ing the battle. But a few spirited individuals 
of the number joined their own and other 
regiments, and, for the whole day, nobly dis- 
charged their duty.* 

At this moment, the thunder of the battery 
below, at La Angostura, gave evidence that 
the first column of the enemy, under General 
Mora y Villamil, had got within its range. The 
rapidity of the firing, and the roar of the can- 
non, which caused the old mountains to groan 

* It is contended that these troops gave way in conse- 
quence of the falling back amongst them of Colonel 
Bowles's regiment.* That, as individuals, they were as 
brave as any men in the world, cannot be doubted ; but 
their being entirely without discipline, or any habit of 
strict military obedience, and their consequent want of 
confidence in their leaders and in each other, may be fairly 
assigned as the principal reasons for their precipitate re- 
treat. 



* In this supposition, an officer of high rank in the regular army, who 
witnessed the whole of the operations, does not concur ; because, he 
says, the Indiana regiment did not, in its flight, pass near these four 
companies of Arkansas Volunteers. 



68 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

and quake with the repeated echoes, convinced 
our whole army that the gallant Washington 
was making good his promise to defend that 
point ; and many and heart-felt were the wild 
hurrahs that rent the air in exultation at his 
efforts. Nothing could withstand the terrible 
tempest of iron which he hurled into the 
compact column before him. The first shock 
impeded its advance ; it then wavered a mo- 
ment, — halted, — and finally turned in con- 
fusion, and rushed into the mouth of the third 
gorge, (Q-) and up the great ravine in front, (G> to 
seek protection behind the spurs which pro- 
jected upon the road. 

In this splendid demonstration of the capac- 
ity of artillery, and its importance as an arm, 
Captain Washington completely repulsed over 
4000 of the flower of the Mexican army, and 
convinced them, beyond a doubt, of their in- 
ability to force him from his position. He was 
ably supported by his remaining three subal- 
terns, Lieutenants Brent, Whiting, and Couch, 
who managed the pieces with great skill, and 
exhibited superior courage and address through- 
out the whole affair. 

Just as Captain Washington opened his fire, 
Captain Sherman, with his other section, (S> was 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 69 

ordered up to the plateau. He immediately 
came into battery near the head of the first 
gorge, <0) and opened his fire; Lieutenant Rey- 
nolds of his company directing one of the 
pieces, and the Captain himself the other. He 
was in a short time supported by Colonel 
McKee's 2d Kentucky Volunteers, which, ac- 
cording to instructions given to Major Mans- 
field, had been sent for, to come from its posi- 
tion across the stream, and which was brought 
into action with much spirit on his right. 
In a few minutes more, Captain Bragg, with 
two of his pieces, also came up, and, pass- 
ing to the left of the 1st Dragoons, wheeled 
into battery, having three of Captain Sherman's 
guns on his right, — Lieutenant Thomas's 
being the first, — and the fourth (Lieutenant 
French's) at some distance to his left. A 
complete line of artillery was thus formed, ex- 
tending from near the head of the first gorge 
to the brink of the ravine in rear of the pla- 
teau, and was supported by the 1st Dragoons, 
the Second Regiment of. Kentucky Volunteers, 
the six companies of Colonel Bissell's regi- 
ment, and four companies of the First Regi- 
ment of Illinois Volunteers, under their gal- 
lant Colonel Hardin, who came upon the pla- 



70 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

teau the moment General Mora y Villamil's 
column had been repulsed. The direction of 
the fire of this whole force was now toward 
the mountain on our left. The enemy's sec- 
ond column had by this time succeeded in 
advancing across the whole plateau ; and, being 
within good range, every discharge of our ar- 
tillery took effect upon it. The firing on our 
side was now incessant and most terrible ; the 
storm of iron and lead beating against the dark 
masses of the Mexicans with dreadful fury. 
They, however, stood firm to their work, and 
for a while returned the fire with such deter- 
mined valor, as to elicit the admiration of all 
who were opposed to them. 

Meanwhile, their cavalry swept by between 
their infantry and the mountain at the head 
of the plateau, in rapid pursuit of the Indiana 
regiment ; the left of General Ampudia's force 
leaving the foot of the slope on which they 
had been contending, and pressing forward 
with them. Those of the Arkansas and Ken- 
tucky Mounted "Volunteers, who had remained 
near the head of the ravine, were obliged im- 
mediately to give way before this force, which 
came pouring down upon them from the pla- 
teau. This movement interrupted the commu- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 71 

nication between our riflemen in the moun- 
tains and our main army. No sooner did they 
discover that the enemy's lancers and infantry 
had got between them and their friends, than 
they immediately abandoned their position, 
and succeeded in forcing their way around the 
intercepting column below, which for a time 
was held in check by the Arkansas and Ken- 
tucky cavalry, under Colonels Yell and Mar- 
shall, who, luckily, had been able to make 
a short stand after they had gained a little 
plain (6) in rear of the ravine from which they 
had just been compelled to retire. In this 
movement the riflemen suffered great loss, — 
the Texan company being nearly destroyed. 
The rest of General Ampudia's force poured 
down the mountain in hot pursuit, and, unit- 
ing with the lancers, compelled the Arkansas 
men, Kentuckians, riflemen, and all, to give 
way before them ; the two former alternately 
yielding and disputing the ground, the others 
following in the footsteps of the volunteers 
who had first retreated. 

Our whole left had now been forced, and 
the enemy was in possession of every advan- 
tage arising from the peculiar nature of the 



72 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

ground ; the alternate ridges and ravines be- 
ing as much in his favor as in ours. 

It was at this critical juncture that General 
Taylor arrived upon the field * from Saltillo, 
having completed his dispositions for the de- 
fence of the city. He was accompanied by 
Lieutenant-Colonel May, with the two com- 
panies of the 2d Dragoons, and by Colonel 
Davis, with eight companies of his Mississippi 
riflemen. Captain Albert Pike, with his own 
company and that of Captain John Preston, Jr. 
(the two united as a squadron), and Lieutenant 
Kilburn, with one piece from Captain Bragg 's 
Battery, had also been ordered to the field 
of battle from below the city, where they 
had been on detached duty. The Missis- 
sippi riflemen halted near the hacienda long 
enough for the men to fill their canteens with 
water, when they were turned off from the 
road diagonally to the left, and advanced to- 
ward the point where our troops were fast giv- 
ing ground to the enemy. The General com- 
manding proceeded on directly to the plateau, / 
having with him the 2d Dragoons. / 

Up to this time General Wool, being nexf 
in command, had assigned the positions for 

* For the position he assumed, see the Plan of the Battle. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 73 

all the troops, and conducted the "battle from 
the beginning ; but, the moment General Tay- 
lor arrived at the front and assumed the direc- 
tion of affairs, he immediately started to assist 
General Lane in rallying the 2d Indiana Vol- 
unteers, and to endeavor to restore something 
like order to our left, which by this time had 
swung around so as to face toward the moun- 
tains on that side, and in a direction perpen- 
dicular to the original line. The position of 
the batteries still in active operation on the 
plateau, the point of land on which Colonel 
Hardin had thrown up a parapet, and Captain 
Washington's position at La Angostura, were 
at this moment the only portions of the ground 
we first occupied, from which we had not 
been driven. Already our loss in officers and 
men had been immense ; and among them 
was included the gallant and chivalrous Assist- 
ant Adjutant-General, Captain George Lin- 
coln,* one of the most promising young of- 
ficers in the army, and one who, possessing 

* He had been endeavoring to rally the 2d Indiana Vol- 
unteers, by urging them, by every thing men can hold 
dear, to return to their duty. Finding all his appeals of 
no avail, he returned himself to the conflict upon the 
plateau, when, just as he arrived at the rear of the 2d 
Kentucky Volunteers, then manfully struggling with the 



74 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

every quality which can adorn a gentleman, 
was admired and beloved by all who knew 
him. 

The aspect of affairs was now most gloomy, 
and our condition most critical ; the scale for 
a short time appeared to be preponderating 
against us, and Victory to be deserting our 
banners and winging her way toward those 
of the enemy. But the idea of yielding the 
day so long as there was a man left to fight, 
never, for a moment, came into the mind of 
our determined leader ; and, in his indomita- 
ble resolution to compel fortune to favor our 
side, he was seconded by men, true as the 
steel they wore, and firm and unyielding as 
the mountains around them. 

The gallant Colonel Davis, with his glori- 
ous Mississippians, — men who had been tried 
in the fire of the storming of Monterey, and 
had stood the test like pure gold, — now moved 
steadily forward through the broad current of 
our retreating horse and foot. He called loudly 
on those who were flying to come back with 
him and renew the combat. They were few 

enemy, he was shot in two places, and instantly expired. 
Alas ! how many were the hearts which the intelligence 
of his early death penetrated with the deepest sorrow ! 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 75 

indeed who heeded his call. Colonel Bowles, 
who, for some reason other than lack of cour- 
age, had ordered his regiment to retreat, now, 
having lost all hope of rallying it again, seized 
a rifle, and, followed by a handful of his men, 
joined the Mississippians as a private. During 
the whole day, he shared their perils, and Avas 
distinguished for his personal bravery. With 
these exceptions, Colonel Davis's appeal was 
of no avail. In vain he told them, that his 
riflemen were " a mass of men behind which 
they could take shelter and securely form." 
He pointed to his regiment, as he said this. 
It was indeed a wall of heroes. What must 
have been his pride in commanding such men ! 
What the mortification and burning shame of 
the fugitives whom he addressed ! 

Colonel Davis, as he passed by General 
Wool, who had now arrived at this part of the 
ground, was promised support ; and the Gen- 
eral immediately went in person to hasten the 
Third Indiana Regiment, from the rear of La 
Angostura, to his aid. But still the Mississip- 
pians moved onward. A large and deep ravine 
passed by their right, while another entered 
this after coming diagonally across their front 
from the left ; the two embracing between 



76 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

them an inclined plane, which terminated at a 
point near their junction (at this moment but 
a short distance in advance of the regiment). 
but which was quite broad, and easy to be 
gained, at its' upper and farther extremity near 
the mountains. On this plane, (8) most of 
Ampudia's light division was now moving 
down, flanked by cavalry, and supported by 
reserves of the heavy infantry.* The 3d 
Indiana Volunteers had not yet had time to 
come up, and it was all-important that the 
enemy should be checked, before he could 
effect a passage of the only ravine which 
would seriously retard his course onward to 
the road. Flushed with success, and apparent- 
ly irresistible in numbers, he came down like 
an avalanche. Then it was that Davis and 
his followers surpassed all their former bril- 
liant efforts. They counted not the odds, — 
they waited for no support ; but, thrown rapid- 
ly into order of battle, they pressed forward 
like Spartans; and, although the air was filled 
with the sharp hissing of a shower of lead, 
which came hurtling on, and cutting through 
their ranks with dreadful effect, still they did 

* The same that, before day, had reenforced it against 
our riflemen. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 77 

not pause until they had brought the enemy 
within close range of their own unerring 
weapons. Then their little line blazed forth a 
sheet of fire. The shock given by it to the 
head of the enemy's column was most awful. 
Men went down before it as ripe grain falls 
before the reaper. Still the enemy came on- 
ward over his dead, and still forward pressed 
the riflemen, — the latter a handful, the 
former a host. At length they paused ; the 
Mississippians on the brink of the ravine, (9> 
the Mexican light infantry on the plane be- 
yond, — the cavalry having been driven to 
cover on their left. Bat there was no cessa- 
tion in the struggle, and Death still continued 
to gather in his bloody harvest. It was not 
enough for the Mississippians simply to hold 
such masses at bay ; their blood was up, and 
the flight of the enemy alone could satisfy 
them. Giving one loud yell of defiance, 
which rang on the ear more like the roar of 
angry lions than the shout of men, they again 
rushed forward. A moment, and they were 
lost from the view of their antagonists. It 
was only a moment ; but in it they had 
dashed into the ravine, clambered up the op- 
posing wall, and now stood before the Mexi- 



78 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

cans upon their own side. For a few minutes 
more, the carnage was terrible. At length, 
bloody and torn, the column of Ampudia lost 
its steadiness ; its fire slackened ; then all 
organization was gone ; its ranks were resolved 
into a confused multitude, which in a moment 
crumbled away, the whole fleeing precipitately 
back to the reserves. 

The Mississippians then turned to the right, 
to beat up the cover of what had been the 
flanking cavalry of this column. They found 
it attempting to cross the ravine on that hand, 
in order to attack them in reverse. A few only 
had crossed, — their commander among them, 
— but they never went back ; and those who 
were pressing down to succeed them, received 
a fire it was impossible for them to withstand. 
They, too, gave way, and fled back to the 
point whither the light infantry had retreated, 
and where they were now just forming again. 

For a little while, this part of the field ap- 
peared to be comparatively safe, and, by the 
determined valor of one small regiment, an 
imminent peril to our whole army seemed to 
be averted. The Mississippians gathered up 
their wounded, and, taking them to the rear 
of the first ravine they had crossed, there 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 79 

formed again in line of battle. They were 
then joined by the 3d Indiana Volunteers, 
under Colonel Lane, and by Lieutenant Kil- 
burn with one piece of artillery. The fire 
of this combined force caused those who had 
just before contended with Colonel Davis's 
regiment to fall back, for a short time, still 
farther, and beyond range. 

While all this was doing, other large masses 
of the enemy's cavalry (10) had kept along 
under the base of the mountains, farther to- 
ward Saltillo, and. having crossed many diffi- 
cult ravines near their sources, moved down 
directly toward Buena Vista, passing, however, 
more than half a mile to the right of General 
Ampudia's column. They had in front of 
them Colonel Yell's and Colonel Marshall's 
Mounted Volunteers; 00 too few to offer suc- 
cessful resistance, yet endeavoring to maintain, 
point after point, the ground they were forced 
to yield.* Seeing this, General Taylor ordered 
the handful of cavalry, then near him on the 
plateau, to move rapidly to the rear, in order to 
assist in repelling this force. It was all united 

* Had the Arkansas and Kentucky (mounted) volun- 
teers never been allowed horses, they would have been 
able to make a stand, on this occasion, as veil as the Mis- 
sis sippians. 



80 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

in one column, under Brevet Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel May, and was composed of four companies 
of regular Dragoons, viz. one under Lieu- 
tenant Rucker, assisted by Lieutenant Buford, 
one under Lieutenant Carleton, assisted by 
Lieutenant Whittlesey and Lieutenant Evans, 
one under Lieutenant Campbell, and one under 
Lieutenant Givens ; besides Captain Pike's and 
Captain Preston's companies of Arkansas Mount- 
ed Volunteers. This column moved to the left, 
passing some distance in rear of the Missis- 
sippi regiment, and then established itself on 
the right of Colonel Marshall's men ; Colonel 
Yell, with his, being on the left. The force, 
thus accumulated, immediately stopped the 
enemy, and caused him to fall back again 
near the mountains. As he could not now be 
reached by our Dragoons, except in detail, 
owing to the impossibility of crossing several 
intervening ravines, otherwise than by one or 
two paths only wide enough for one horse to 
pass at a time, Colonel May despatched Lieu- 
tenant Evans, of the 1st Dragoons, with a 
message to General Taylor, requesting some 
pieces of artillery. 

While our cavalry force was thus holding 
that of the enemy in check, and while the 
Mississippi Riflemen, and 3d Indiana Volun- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 81 

teers, assisted by Lieutenant Kilburn, were 
engaged with the troops under General Am- 
pudia, General Wool was making every effort 
to rally our men who had first given way ; 
and General Lane, though wounded and bleed- 
ing, was also endeavoring to gather up the 
scattered fragments of the regiment with which 
he had opened the battle. In this they were 
ably assisted by Inspector-General Churchill, — 
by Major Monroe, of the Artillery, — and like- 
wise by Captain Steen, of the 1st Dragoons, 
who fell, severely wounded, while on this duty. 
None, however, were so successful in arresting 
their flight, as the intrepid Major Dix, of the 
Pay Department. Having ridden rapidly in 
amongst them, he seized the standard of the 
2d Indiana Volunteers, and then called to 
the men, and asked them if they would desert 
their colors. He told them that they had 
sworn to protect them, and now, if they were 
still determined to do so, they must return 
with him to the fight. He swore to them, 
that, with God's help, he would not see the 
state of Indiana disgraced by having her flag 
carried out of battle until it could be carried 
out in triumph ; and that back into it again 
it should go, if he had to take it there and 
6 



82 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

defend it alone. This touched the hearts of 
many of those who were within the sound 
of his voice. It seemed to banish the panic 
which had fallen upon them ; they were them- 
selves again : they rallied, thought of their 
homes, gave three cheers for Indiana, and 
again gathered around her flag. Captain Lin- 
nard, of the Topographical Engineers, who 
had been very active in seconding Major Dix 
in his appeal to these men, and in putting 
them in order as they came together, now got 
a drum and fife, and directed the national quick- 
step to be played, when the word was given 
to move on. Major Dix then led off with the 
flag, while the gallant Captain brought up the 
rear ; and in this way, taking a direction to- 
ward Colonel Davis's and Colonel Lane's regi- 
ments, back again they went into battle.* All 
the rest continued their flight ; most of them 
to the hacienda of Buena Yista, but many 
even to the city of Saltillo, where they re- 
ported that all was lost, and our army in full 
retreat. The reader should bear in mind, that, 
while all this was taking place to the left and 
rear, the battle raged with desperate fury on 
the plateau. This great centre of the conflict 
was now under the eye and immediate direc- 
* See Appendix, D. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. ti.' 

tion of the respective commanders of the two 
opposing armies. 

Santa Anna, finding it was impossible fo 1 
the infantry of his centre column to drive 
back our line of artillery under Sherman and 
Bragg, and its supporting force under Hardin, 
Bissell, and McKee, hurried up the Battalion 
de San Patricio,* with a battery of 18 and 24- 
pounders ; and, with incredible exertions, he 
succeeded in bringing it around the heads of 
the large ravine in front, and along the steep 
sides of the spurs of the mountain, where the 
battle first opened, and thence down to the 
very point (L) occupied by O'Brien's section 
before he moved forward in the morning. Its 
fire now enfiladed the whole plateau ; being 
directed from its upper edge toward the road. 

Even with this additional strength, the cen- 
tre column could not clear the plateau, but 
was itself compelled to give ground before the 

* This Battalion of Saint Patrick was composed of some 
of the Irish soldiers who had deserted from the American 
army and gone over to the enemy. It was commanded by 
a man named Riley, also a deserter. Subsequently, the 
whole battalion was taken in one of the battles in front of 
the city of Mexico, and sixty of them were hung near Che- 
ptdtepec. The Irishmen in our army, who had remained 
true to their colors, were the most clamorous for their exe- 
cution. 



84 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

withering effects of the iron poured into it by 
our light artillery. At length, being broken 
near its centre, one half pushed over the ravine 
in rear, and in a direction to reenforce the 
troops under General Ampudia ; while the other 
half, except the corps of Sappers and Miners, 
which stood firm by the battery, fell back to- 
ward the ravine in front, bearing with them 
Santa Anna himself, whose horse had been 
shot down under him. The moment this lat- 
ter half began to move, Hardin, Bissell, and 
McKee, with their respective commands, dash- 
ed gallantly forward to a point within close 
musket-shot, when they opened their fire, and 
followed up the enemy with great slaughter 
until he became covered by the ravdne. Being 
then, in turn, threatened by the cavalry which 
had flanked General Mora y Villamil's column, 
they fell back to the heads of the first and 
second gorges in their rear ; Colonel Hardin's 
command going to the support of Captain 
Bragg's section, which, in the mean time, had 
limbered up and come into battery again, far 
in advance (12) of its first position. 

Lieutenant O'Brien had by this time come 
back on the plateau once more. He had been 
obliged (not having a single cannoneer to 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 85 

work the guns) to go down to La Angostura 
with the section he had been able to bring off, 
in order to procure a fresh one of two 6-pound- 
. ers, which Captain Washington gave him in 
exchange ; and, although Lieutenant French, in 
consequence of his wound, had been compelled 
to give up the command of his gun, it fell 
into good hands, and was kept actively em- 
ployed under the direction of Lieutenant Gar- 
nett, one of the aides-de-camp of General Tay- 
lor. So that there were now eight pieces on 
the plateau alone. 

As our left was now the most seriously men- 
aced, not only by the forces which had turned 
it in the beginning of the battle, but likewise 
by more than half of the enemy's centre col- 
umn, General Taylor ordered Captain Sher- 
man and Captain Bragg, each with a section 
of his battery, to proceed there and strength- 
en it. This left on the plateau Lieutenant 
O'Brien with his two pieces, and Lieutenants 
Thomas and Garnett, each with one. As oc- 
casion seemed to render it necessary, the fire 
of these four guns was directed, now toward 
the front, now toward the battery at the head 
of the plateau, and now toward the heavy 
masses threatening our left and rear, and 
always with marked effect, 



86 BATTLE OF BUENA VJSTA. 

The position of affairs was at this time, in 
brief, as follows : 

The enemy's reserve kept its ground in 
front. His battery near the road, and likewise 
his 8-pounder battery, still continued to play 
respectively upon Washington at La Angostu- 
ra, and upon the plateau. The third gorge 
and the ravine in front of the plateau were 
filled by his first and a part of his second 
columns of attack, held in check by the 1st 
and 2d Illinois Volunteers and the 2d Ken- 
tucky Regiment, stationed in and near the 
heads of the first and second gorges, and sup- 
porting the four pieces under O'Brien, Thom- 
as, and Garnett. These pieces had the ene- 
my's 18 and 24-pounder battery directly op- 
posite to them, and still close under the moun- 
tain at the head of the plateau/ L) The rest 
of the enemy's second column, all of his third, 
and the heavy bodies of his cavalry which 
had turned our left, stretched along near the 
base of the mountains on that flank, in an ir- 
regular line, and faced toward the road ; the 
infantry and a portion of the cavalry were 
upon the left/ 13) nearest the plateau; while 
the most of the cavalry and a small portion 
of the infantry were on the right/" 5 and near- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. b7 

ly opposite Buena Vista. Against this latter 
part of the enemy's forces, we had also an 
irregular line. The right of it was composed 
of the pieces 05 ' under Sherman, Bragg, Rey- 
nolds, and Kilburn, scattered along at uncer- 
tain intervals, and having, as their nearest sup- 
port, Colonel Davis's and Colonel Lane's regi- 
ments, together with such of the volunteers 
of other corps, whether of horse or of foot, 
as had up to this time been rallied and brought 
back into the battle. The left (U) consisted of 
the four companies of the 1st and 2d Dragoons, 
Pike's and Preston's companies, all that re- 
mained of Colonel Marshall's mounted men, 
and also the fragment of Colonel Yell's regi- 
ment, which was on the extreme left. 

Following up these various positions, the 
reader cannot fail to observe, that the whole 
scene of combat now extended over a space 
of ground upwards of two miles in length, 
by nearly a mile in breadth. 

For a long while the conflict was continued 
without any decided success on the part of 
either army ; and the whole field, during this 
period, might be compared to an intricate 
game of chess, the Pass at La Angostura, de- 
fended by Washington, being the key to our 



88 BATTLE OF B U E N A VISTA. 

position. If this were carried, we were irre- 
trievably checkmated, and the game was lost. 

Had the enemy at this time brought up his 
powerful reserve, and gathered around it the 
scattered portions of his first column, it would 
have required all our artillery under Sherman, 
Bragg, and O'Brien, and the infantry then 
on the plateau, to maintain it ; while his su- 
periority in numbers in rear might, probably 
would, have beaten our forces there, and then 
been at liberty to overpower Washington by 
attacking him in reverse, or to move on, carry 
Saltillo, and get possession of all our stores 
and ammunition there ; either of which move- 
ments would eventually have destroyed us. 
But from some unaccountable motive, or blind 
fatality, he allowed most of his army, still in 
our front, to remain comparatively inactive ; 
and that too, in one of the most critical con- 
ditions of the battle. By doing this, he al- 
lowed General Taylor time and opportunity 
to strengthen his left with artillery from the 
plateau. The latter promptly seized the great 
advantage afforded by this fault, as has already 
been shown ; and now, for a season, the bal- 
ance preponderated slightly in our favor. 

About twelve o'clock at noon, Colonel May's 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 89 

column of Dragoons Avas ordered to return 
from the left to the plateau. Large masses of 
the enemy's line, extending along the base of 
the mountain, soon afterward began to give 
way before the destructive artillery fire, then 
concentrated upon it, and the determined re-N 
sistance of the Mississippi Riflemen and the 3d | 
Indiana Volunteers. Some of their corps nov 
attempted to return to the main army in front. 
Seeing this, General Taylor detached the two 
companies of the 1st Dragoons, to proceed up 
the deep ravine (16> in rear of the plateau, and 
there to charge into and disperse them. These 
companies had hardly started on this service, 
before it was observed that a brigade of the 
enemy's cavalry, mostly lancers, had succeed- 
ed in crossing the difficult ravines which lay 
between it and the Arkansas and Kentucky 
Mounted Volunteers, and, having forced the 
latter to give ground, was evidently meditating 
a descent upon our baggage train, now parked 
upon the road a short distance below Buena 
Vista.* Colonel May, with the two com- 

* It will be remembered that this train, during the 
night of the 22d, "was parked in a hollow, half way from 
the hacienda to La Angostura. "When our left gave way, 
on the morning of the 23d, the poor teamsters thought 



90 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

panies of 2d Dragoons, Pike's squadron, and 
two * pieces of artillery, under Lieutenant Rey- 
nolds, was ordered by General Taylor to pro- 
ceed rapidly to the rear to support that point. 
This force had hardly started, before it was 
discovered that the two companies of the 1st 
Dragoons, which had proceeded toward the 
mountains on the left, had come under a 
most withering fire of grape and canister from 
the 18 and 24-pounder battery (L) at the head 
of the plateau, which effectually covered the 
retreat of the corps they went to disperse. 
General Taylor, therefore, caused them to be 
recalled. In coming down the plateau to the 
position the General occupied, they moved 
directly in front of the whole battery, and 
besides had a cross-fire of infantry on their 
left flank. Many of their men and horses 

the whole army defeated, and in full retreat. They, there- 
fore, started for the city, as fast as their mules could run. 
It was with the utmost exertion that Captain W. W. 
Chapman, Assistant Quarter-Master and Aide to General 
"Wool, could stop them. He succeeded, however, in doing 
so, and in parking the wagons about half a mile below 
Buena Vista. 

* Both belonging to Sherman's Battery; the howitzer 
which French had, and which Lieutenant Garnett after- 
wards commanded temporarily, being one. This left only 
three upon the plateau ; — two under O'Brien, and one 
under Thomaa. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 91 

were cut up, and their guidon was shot away ; 
fortunately, however, it was soon afterwards 
recovered. Running the gantlet of such an 
immense force, the wonder was how these two 
little companies escaped annihilation. They 
were immediately ordered to join Colonel May 
again, to resist the attack threatened on the 
depot at Buena Vista, and on the train ; and they 
proceeded at a gallop for that point, overtaking 
Lieutenant Reynolds, with his two pieces, on 
the way. But, before any of this force could 
reach the extreme left, the brigade of the 
enemy's cavalry, in column of squadrons/ 17 * 
charged furiously into the Arkansas and Ken- 
tucky Mounted Volunteers/ 1S) who had formed 
a line near the spring in front of the hacienda. 
The latter had waited until the enemy came 
within sixty yards, when they fired with their 
carbines, but with very trifling effect. By the 
time their pieces were dropped and their sabres 
drawn, the enemy was amongst them with 
his lances. The melee was then general ; the 
Americans and Mexicans were mixed up in 
utter confusion, the whole being enveloped in 
a cloud of dust, and driving on toward the 
hacienda. Fortunately, the very men who 
had run off from the field, and had gone to 



92 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Buena Vista for shelter, had been gathered up 
by Major Monroe, assisted by some volun- 
teer officers (Major Trail and Major Gorman 
among the number), and had been placed on 
the tops of the buildings, and in a large yard 
surrounded by a thick adobe wall. They 
opened a fire upon the Mexican brigade, the 
moment it had got within range of their mus- 
kets and rifles, which killed and wounded a 
great number. The brigade then divided ; 
one half, mixed up with Arkansas and Ken- 
tucky men, went pouring through the narrow 
street which separates the buildings of the 
hacienda, while the other commenced falling 
rapidly back toward the mountains on our 
left. Lieutenant Reynolds, being now near 
enough to reach the men of this latter half, 
came into action ; and, having thrown a few 
spherical-case shot directly into the midst of 
them, he soon drove them beyond range. He 
limbered up, and pushed on to the hacienda. 
The Dragoons under May, and the 1st Dra- 
goons, had arrived there a few minutes before 
him, but too late to strike the enemy. Those 
who had fallen back toward the mountains on 
the left of the Pass were beyond reach, and 
those who had gone through the hacienda had 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 



93 



by this time got separated from the Arkansas 
and Kentucky men, and had gained the lower 
level across the stream. Although distant, they 
were not out of reach of Lieutenant Reynolds's 
guns. He had brought his section into bat- 
tery just below the hacienda ; and, until they 
had crossed the whole lower level, and had 
succeeded in climbing the opposite mountain, 
and finally in escaping through a small notch 
near its summit, he continued to play upon 
them with astonishing accuracy and great 
execution. 

In this affair, our mounted volunteers be- 
haved as well as could have been expected, 
and suffered much less, considering all the 
circumstances, than could have been imagined 
possible. The brigade that charged them, 
one of the best in the Mexican army, was 
commanded by General Torrejon, and led on 
by him in person. It numbered about one 
thousand ; while all that were left, at this 
time, of the Arkansas and Kentucky regi- 
ments could not have been over four hun- 
dred and fifty. It was in this charge that the 
gallant and distinguished Colonel Yell lost his 
life. He fell like a hero, far in advance of 
his men, and pierced with many wounds. 



94 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Captain Porter, of his regiment, a brave man 
and most amiable gentleman, died by his 
side ; and Adjutant Vaughn, one of the most 
promising of the young men of Kentucky 
and the favorite of his regiment, also fell, 
fighting to the last. He received twenty-four 
wounds. Besides these, there were many of the 
best men of the two regiments killed or wound- 
ed. General Torrejon was wounded in this 
charge, and left thirty-five of his men dead upon 
the field. The number of his wounded was 
not known, as their comrades bore them away. 
After the Mexicans had failed in their attack 
on Buena Vista, they made a determined ef- 
fort to force their way to the road at a point 
nearer the plateau. They brought down, from 
near the mountains opposite and to the left of 
the hacienda, a fresh brigade of cavalry, cov- 
ered by infantry in all its passages of ravines. 
^With this they advanced to engage the Missis- 
sippi riflemen, the fragment of the 2d Indiana 
Volunteers, and the 3d regiment of the same, 
who were still acting together, and who had 
near them one howitzer under Captain Sher- 
man. The position (19) of these troops was\ 
some five hundred yards nearer the road than 
the point where Colonel Davis's regiment was 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 95 

first engaged in the morning, but farther down 
the same ravine. As soon as this new brigade 
indicated, by the manner of its approach, its 
determination to charge our riflemen and in- 
fantry, they were rapidly formed to receive it. 
The Mississippi regiment, in line of battle, ex- 
tended across the little plain upon which they 
now were, — their right being near the ravine, 
their front toward the mountains ; the Indi- 
ana troops were formed so that their left rested 
on the right of Colonel Davis's regiment, their 
right upon the ravine higher up, their front 
being also toward the mountains, but more to 
the north. In this way, an obtuse reentering 
angle was presented towards the approaching 
cavalry, Sherman's howitzer being on its left. 
The enemy was formed in close column of 
squadrons, and came down the slope at an 
easy hand-gallop. His ranks were well closed, 
his troopers riding knee to knee, and dressing 
handsomely on their guides. All the flags and 
pennons were flying, — some fifteen hundred 
of them ; — the men were in full uniform, and 
the horses elegantly caparisoned. Every lancer 
sat erect, and kept his charger well in hand ; 
and the whole brigade, preserving exactly its 
intervals and the direction of its march, moved 



96 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

forward with the ease and regularity of the 
best drilled troops on a field-day. Had the 
commander of this beautiful brigade desired to 
win the applause of both armies, he could not 
have put it in better order, or led his men on 
with more of professional style. The tout en- 
semble of his column was most admirable. It 
had a sort of air about it, — an easy, nonchalant 
manner of going into the work, — which could 
not but recall to one's mind his ideal pictures 
of the cavalry of the olden days. Those fine 
fellows were the chivalry of Mexico, and, 
with the exception of the President's personal 
guard, — the regiment of Hussars, — they were 
the most dashing troops the Republic had ever 
sent to the field. Opposed to them were our 
men on foot, — a mere handful in comparison, 
and having about them none of the "pomp 
and circumstance," the glitter, and gold, and 
feathers, and tassels, of their antagonists. They 
stood calmly and fearlessly still, with their 
pieces at a carry. But they, too, had an air ; 
one that had mischief in it. Their ranks had 
been thinned out ; some of their best men had 
fallen. There were even fathers standing there, 
whose sons had gone down by their sides, 
■ — their pet boys, whom they had reared and 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 97 

brought forth to fight for their country. And 
there were sons, too, whose clothes had been 
baptized with their fathers' blood, not yet dry. 
Brothers, who had stood shoulder to shoulder 
in the morning, stood so no more ; but, while 
one lay stark and motionless upon the earth, 
the other was near by to avenge him. There 
were neighbors, too, and friends, who had 
grown up together in school-boy days. They 
were not yet separated. The survivors stood 
there, while those who had borne all these 
tender relations to them were strown, dead 
or dying, on every hand. Yet all in sight they 
lay ; — the familiar forms and faces of those to 
whom they had been deeply attached, and 
whom they had called by their first names 
from infancy. It cannot be wondered, then, 
that these men stood firm. 

It was a sublime, a terrible sight. The 
troops on both sides were so cool and deter- 
mined, that all knew the struggle must be 
sanguinary and desperate in the extreme. Not 
a word was spoken ; the din of the surround- 
ing battle seemed for a moment hushed ; the 
rumbling sound of the earth, as the brigade 
swept onward like a living thunderbolt, appear- 
ed to be the only audible manifestation of the 
7 



98 BATTLE OF BTJENA VISTA. 

approaching carnage. As the Mexicans came 
nearer, they evidently indulged the belief, that 
they could draw the fire of our men before it 
could be very destructive ; and that then, while 
the pieces were empty, they could overwhelm 
the slight barrier before them, and finish their 
work with the lance. But finding, on the 
contrary, that not a piece was discharged nor 
a man moving, the whole brigade began in- 
stinctively to diminish its gait. This was a 
fatal mistake ; and, on their side, it seemed a 
pity it should have been made, it was so out of 
keeping with the skill indicated by their sol- 
dierly appearance and gallant bearing. Final- 
ly, instead of dashing forward in a most splen- 
did charge, as they could have done, having 
the ground upon which to execute it, they 
had the madness to pull up to a walk, and at 
length to halt in the very net-work of the two 
lines of fire. The instant they did so, the 
pieces came down on both faces of the angle, 
as if swayed by the same hand. For a mo- 
ment their muzzles moved slowly about, as 
each man felt for his aim ; then they settled 
steady and firm as bars of steel. Now, like 
the blast of a trumpet, the dreadful word was 
shouted, — " Fire ! " Two sheets of flame 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 99 

converged on that beautiful brigade. It was 
appalling! The whole head of the column 
was prostrated, and riderless horses, a multi- 
tude, and crimson with blood, scattered from it 
in every direction. 

Before the Mexicans could recover from the 
effects of this blow, Sherman cut them up with 
grape and canister. Then came the rapid and 
deadly firing by file, of our riflemen and in- 
fantry. No troops in the world could have 
faced it without the most awful sacrifice of 
life ; and under it the whole brigade gave way, 
and fled toward the mountains, leaving the 
ground literally covered with its dead. 

In this affair, had it not been for that unac- 
countable and suicidal pulling up to a halt 
before a body of the best marksmen in the 
world, and distant only eighty yards ; — had 
this compact mass of cavalry, in room of doing 
thus, dashed at speed into the angle before 
them, they would have lost many men, no 
doubt ; but it is difficult to conceive what could 
have saved the Mississippi and Indiana troops 
from total destruction. And, had so large a 
force broken through our lines, and, at this 
time, gained the road between Buena Vista and 
La Angostura, the fortunes of the day would 



100 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

again have been placed in a jeopardy most 
painful to contemplate. 

All this time the fighting on the plateau was 
continued with but slight intermissions, yet 
without any important advantage being gained 
by either side. The enemy's batteries in front, 
except at short intervals, kept busily at work ; 
but our men at La Angostura, and in the heads 
of the gorges, sheltered themselves as much as 
possible, except when the infantry or cavalry 
would come within range ; then, for a season, the 
sharp roll of musketry would be mingled with 
the booming sound of cannon, but would again 
subside to the frequent dropping shot, as the en- 
emy slowly fell back to cover. It was on such 
occasions, that loaded wagons came along near 
those regiments and corps which, for the mo- 
ment, might not be hotly engaged ; and, having 
supplied the men with ammunition and bread 
and water, took in all the wounded who could 
be gathered up, and returned with them to 
the rear. By causing the men, when opportu- 
nity offered, thus to be refreshed, and to have 
their cartridge-boxes replenished, the General 
was enabled to keep them in a condition to 
bear their heavy fatigue, and, at the same time, 
in a good state of preparation for a protracted 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 101 

use of their weapons. Besides, in this way 
the wounded were cared for without taking the 
comhatants from the lines. 

But the most sanguinary part of the field 
was still that which was covered by the forces 
engaged in rear of the plateau. After the 
enemy's brigade of cavalry had been repulsed 
by the artillery, riflemen, and infantry, under 
Sherman, Davis, and Lane, very soon the com- 
panies of the 1st and 2d Dragoons, Lieutenant 
Reynolds with his two pieces, Pike's and Pres- 
ton's companies, and a few mounted and foot 
volunteers who had been rallied at the hacien- 
da, were ordered by General Taylor to move 
directly up near the base of the mountains on 
the left, and to drive in the enemy's right by 
attacking him on that flank. This force was 
under the direction of Brevet Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel May. The Mexicans soon began to give 
way before its advance, and to keep along the 
base of the mountain toward the plateau. It 
was while this was doing, that a violent tem- 
pest of hail and rain, with gusts of wind, came 
suddenly up, accompanied by vivid lightning 
and the most deafening peals of thunder.* 

* There was something remarkable about this sudden 
and furious tempest. It was in the " dry season" ; and, 



102 BATTLE OP BUENA VISTA. 

But the warring of the elements above stayed 
not the fury of the battle below. The loud 
thunder and the pattering of hail were answered 
back by the roar of cannon and the rattling of 
musketry. 

From time to time, as our cavalry force un- 
der Lieutenant-Colonel May pressed heavily 
on the right flank of the enemy, Reynolds's 
two pieces were brought into action, and played 
upon him until he gave ground, when they 
were quickly limbered up, and moved on again 
to new and closer positions ; being supported 
on each flank by the regular Dragoons, with 
Pike's squadron to the left of all. Meanwhile 
(Captain Bragg, with three * pieces of his bat- 
I tery without support, advanced upon the ene- 
! my, midway between the Dragoons and the 
(Mississippi and Indiana troops. The latter 
] were also pushing on, and supporting, as they 
did so, Captain Sherman with his howitzer. 

save the slight shower during the night succeeding the 
battle of the 22d, we had had no rain before, and we had 
none for a long time after. Some of our army accounted 
for it as being the result of the excessive firing during the 
action. According to Professor Espy's theory of storms, 
this may have been the cause. 

* By this time Lieutenant Kilburn's piece had joined 
him. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 103 

Our three pieces on the plateau likewise di- 
rected, for the time being, their fire upon the 
masses now giving way before this combined 
attack and advance of our entire strength in 
rear of that position. Meanwhile the whole 
fire of the 18 and 24-pounder battery of the 
enemy was concentrated on our corps moving 
up toward the mountains, and nearly enfiladed 
their lines. It was a fine battery, and the 
havoc it made in our ranks was a melancholy 
evidence of the skill with which it was served. 
But neither the effect of its heavy copper-shot, 
frightful as it was, nor the continuous fire of 
musketry from those now falling back, could 
retard the steady advance of our troops. They 
swept onward toward the mountains like a 
seine, and gathered this portion of the enemy's 
force into a sort of cul-de-sac, from which it 
seemed impossible for it to escape. The Mex- 
icans, who were thus hemmed in, were played 
upon by no less than nine pieces of our light 
artillery at the same moment ; being the cen- 
tre of a cross fire from Reynolds's pieces to 
their right, and O'Brien's and Thomas's pieces 
on their left, while Sherman and Bragg were 
tearing them up in front. Although at first 
they answered our troops by a fire of musketry, 



104 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 

as the ground from point to point afforded them 
cover, yet, as they became more condensed, 
and the effect of our shot more destructive, 
they grew panic-stricken. Then horse and 
foot mingled together, and, without pausing 
to resist the storm under which they suf- 
fered, pressed, on closer and closer toward 
the mountain. These were the men who had 
killed our wounded, when they drove us in the 
morning. These were the men who took no 
prisoners, when they might have taken many. 
These were the men who left no sign of life 
in any thing American which had fallen into 
their hands, — the men who had stripped our 
poor fellows, and then stood over them and 
mutilated their remains in the most horrible 
and revolting manner. They were the men 
who had received the surrendered sword of 
the Texan Lieutenant, Campbell, a gallant 
gentleman, and then plunged it into his bosom. 
These were the men who in the morning had 
surrounded that grey-haired man, Lieutenant 
Price, of Illinois, seventy-two years old,* and 

* This old gentleman had been very active in raising a 
company of the 2d Illinois Volunteers, by urging the young 
men of his county to go to Mexico and assist General 
Taylor, Tvho, he had heard, was surrounded. At last 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 105 

cruelly forced their lances through him, as if 
for pastime. Now they were going back over 
the same ground where all this work had been 
done. We had but little consideration for 
those who had had no pity for our mangled 
and bleeding comrades. And every one knew, 
if the battle finally went against us, what 
would inevitably be his own fate. All these 
things inspired our troops with a determination 
never to despair of victory ; and nerved them 
to press onward to the punishment of an ene- 
my, who, in civilized warfare, had set the first 
example of murdering wounded men. Faster 
and faster our troops gathered them into that 
little cove in the side of the mountain. They 
were about 5000 or 6000 in all ; cavalry and 
infantry, mingled in confusion ; an armed mul- 
titude ; a mere chaos of men and horses, and 
dead and dying, with flags, pennons, lances, 
and muskets, all mixed up. Hundreds of them 
endeavored to escape by clambering up the 
steep sides of the mountains ; but most of them 

he told them, that, to prove that he would not advise 
them to go where he dared not go himself, if they would 
give him a commission, so that he could be "mustered in," 
he would accompany them. They elected him Second 
Lieutenant, and he fell a3 above described. He was much 
beloved, and his fall was deeply lamented. 



106 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

stood huddled together, while our shot went 
crashing through them, and our shells like- 
wise, opening for themselves a bloody circle 
wherever they exploded. 

It was at this time that the President of 
Mexico sent one of his staff officers, under a 
white flag, with a message to General Taylor, 
desiring to know what he wanted. General 
Wool was immediately directed to bear the 
commanding General's reply to such a singular 
request ; and, at the same time, orders were 
sent to our batteries to cease firing. General 
Wool proceeded directly up to the head of the 
plateau, where, notwithstanding the inter- 
change of flags, the 18 and 24-pounder bat- 
tery (L) still continued in operation on our 
troops in rear ; but, finding he could not in- 
duce the Mexican officers there to cease their 
fire, he declared the parley at an end, and 
returned to our lines, without having had an 
interview with his Excellency. While all this 
was going on, the whole force which had 
turned our left succeeded in escaping from 
its perilous situation. Having recrossed 
the head of the deep ravine, they passed 
rapidly along the upper edge of the plateau, 
and, under cover of their battery there, in 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 107 

spite of all our exertions, united again with 
the main army in front. 

Just before they did so, however, and about 
the time the white flag came in to General 
Taylor, Santa Anna caused his 8-pounder bat- 
tery to be moved down to a point nearer the 
plateau; and his reserves, under General Or- 
tega, were ordered forward, and formed in 
the same ravine which had been occupied by 
General Pacheco in the morning. This large 
body of fresh troops was strengthened by 
those of the first column of attack, by the 
Battalion of Leon, and by the Eleventh 
Regiment of Infantry.* The whole force 
was then placed under the command of Gen- 
eral Perez, and directed to move forward ; the 
cavalry being ordered to its left, to remain un- 
der cover until our lines should give way. 
The approach, concentration, and disposition 

* "I had ordered trie battery of 8-pounders to advance 
and take trie enemy in flank ; [?] and that the column of 
attack, then posted on our left flank, where it had no ob- 
ject of operation, should be transferred to our right, and 
there be joined by the remains of the Eleventh Regiment, 
the Battalion of Leon, and the Reserves, and all under 
the command of Brevet General Don Francisco Perez. I 
executed this in person, and afterwards sent for General 
Mora y Villamil, and made him acquainted with my final 
dispositions," — Santa Anna's Report of the Battle. 



108 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

of this force, could not be seen from any part 
of the ground we then occupied : therefore its 
strength, proximity, and the point it menaced, 
were, for the present, equally unknown. But, 
to be prepared for any emergency, General 
Taylor sent orders to the left, the moment the 
Mexican right had effected its escape from that 
quarter, for all our troops there to come for- 
ward, as quickly as possible, to the plateau. 
They were now already in motion ; our 
cavalry and artillery being obliged to go 
'nearly down to the road to avoid the ravines, 
whilst the Mississippi and Indiana troops were 
moving directly across them. 

While the enemy's cavalry and infantry, 
which our left had thus signally defeated, was 
moving in retreat along the head of the pla- 
teau, O'Brien's and Thomas's pieces were 
advanced well to the front, and then came into 
action, and opened a heavy fire on them ; and 
Colonels Hardin, Bissell, and McKee, with 
their Illinois and Kentucky troops, dashed 
gallantly forward in hot pursuit. The power- 
ful reserve of the Mexican army was just then 
emerging from the ravine where it had been 
organized, and coming forward on the pla- 
teau, opposite the head of the third gorge. (a) 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 109 

Those who were giving way rallied quickly 
upon it ; when the whole force, thus increased 
to over 12,000 men, came forward in a per- 
fect blaze of fire. It was a single column, 
composed of the best soldiers of the Republic, 
and having for its advanced battalions the 
veteran regiments. The Kentucky and Illi- 
nois troops were soon obliged to give ground 
before it, and to seek the shelter of the second 
gorge. (P) As the Mexicans pressed on, O'Brien 
and Thomas opened upon them with canister, 
instead of round and hollow shot. Being very 
close, the destruction of life, caused by their 
three pieces, was immense. The advance 
of this column, however, was not retarded ; 
for they were troops of the old line, and were 
accustomed to blood. Arriving opposite the 
head of the second gorge, one half of this 
column suddenly enveloped it, while the other 
half pressed on across the plateau, having for 
the moment nothing to resist them but the 
three guns in their front. The portion, that 
was immediately opposed to the Kentucky 
and Illinois troops, ran down along each side 
of the gorge in which they had sought shelter, 
and also circled around its head ; and then 
there was no possible way of escape for them 



110 BATTLE OP BUENA VISTA. 

except by its mouth, which opened upon the 
road. Its sides were steep, — at least, at an 
angle of forty degrees, — were covered with 
loose pebbles and stones, and went to a point 
at the bottom. Down there were our poor 
fellows, — nearly three regiments of them, 
— with but little opportunity to load or fire a 
gun, being hardly able even to keep their feet. 
Above, the whole edge of the gorge, all the 
way around, was darkened by the serried 
masses of the enemy, and was bristling with 
muskets directed upon the crowd beneath. 
It was no time to pause ; those who were 
not immediately shot down, rushed on to- 
ward the road, their numbers growing less 
and less as they went ; Kentuckians and 
Illinoians, officers and men, all mixed up in 
confusion, and all pressing on over the loose 
pebbles and rolling stones of those shelving, 
precipitous banks, and having lines and lines 
of the enemy firing down from each side and 
in rear, as they went. Just then, the enemy's 
cavalry, which had gone to the left of the 
reserve, had come over the spur that divides 
the mouth of the second gorge (P) from that 
of the third/ a) and were now closing up the 
only door through which there was the least 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. Ill 

shadow of a chance for their lives. Many 
of those ahead endeavored to force their way 
out ; but few succeeded ; the lancers were 
fully six to one, and their long weapons were 
already reeking with blood. It was at this 
time that those, who were still back in that 
dreadful gorge, heard, above the din of the 
musketry and the shouts of the enemy around 
them, the roar of Washington's Battery. No 
music could have been more grateful to their 
ears. A moment only, and the whole open- 
ing, where the lancers were busy, rang with 
the repeated explosions of spherical-case shot. 
They gave way. The gate, as it were, was 
clear, and out upon the road a stream of our 
poor fellows issued. They ran panting down 
towards the battery, and directly under the 
flight of iron then passing over their heads 
into the retreating cavalry. Hardin, McKee, 
Clay, Willis, Zabriskie, Houghton, — but why 
go on? It would be a sad task indeed to 
name over all who fell during this twenty 
minutes' slaughter. The whole gorge, from 
the plateau to its mouth, was strewed with 
our dead ; all dead ; no wounded there, not 
a man ; for the infantry had rushed down 
the sides, and completed the work with the 
bayonet. 



112 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Simultaneously with all this, the other por- 
tion of the enemy's immense force continued 
to advance diagonally down the plateau, to- 
ward the very point occupied by the com- 
manding General. There was nothing to 
impede their progress but the artillery under 
Lieutenants O'Brien and Thomas. The for- 
mer of these officers, with his two pieces, 
was about a hundred yards to the right and 
in advance of the latter ; and both, though 
unsupported, fell back no faster than the re- 
coil of their guns would carry them. They 
knew our troops were hurrying up from the 
rear, and that, if they could retard the ene- 
my's course but a few minutes longer, the 
tide of battle, now setting so heavily against 
us, might once more turn in our favor. Sher- 
man and Bragg were urging on their bat- 
teries with whip, spur, and even with drawn 
sabres ; the dragoons were coming on with 
them ; while to the left, Davis and Lane, 
with their riflemen and infantry, — the men 
with trailed arms, — were advancing, at a run, 
over the ridges and ravines ; the awful fire of 
musketry on the plateau, and down around 
that dismal gorge, proclaiming with fearful elo- 
quence the necessity of their speed. Closer 
and closer pressed the Mexicans. O'Brien 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 113 

saw, that, if he limbered up in time to save his 
guns, the enemy would carry the plateau be- 
fore our other light artillery could get to it ; 
but that, if he stood his ground and fought 
them until they were lost, there was still a 
chance remaining to retrieve the fortunes of the 
day. It was a most critical moment, and his 
a most perilous situation. On his choice there 
rested infinite responsibility. His decision, 
under the circumstances, was stamped with 
more of heroism than any other one act of the 
war. He elected to lose his guns. 

Still onward came the Mexicans. O'Brien's 
men were fast falling around him ; he was 
himself wounded ; already two horses had been 
killed under him, and the third was bleeding ; 
besides, those attached to his pieces and cais- 
sons were nearly all down, and struggling in 
their harness. He looked back, and saw that 
the troops in rear were now nearly up, and en- 
couraged his little handful of men to continue 
their exertions. The cool and intrepid Thom- 
as, on his left, kept busily at his work, and 
was likewise suffering most terrible loss. Still 
the Mexicans came on, and were now almost 
up to the guns, which were pouring into them 
canisters on canisters of musket balls. No 



114 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

troops could have behaved better than they 
did. There was no faltering. The wide gaps 
opened through their ranks were immediately 
closed up, and the men still pressed on. Now 
nearly every cannoneer was down. O'Brien 
looked back once more, and, thank God ! 
Bragg 's Battery, which was leading, was just 
at that moment coming into action ; Sherman 
and the dragoons were following rapidly up, 
while Davis and Lane were just bringing their 
riflemen and infantry out of the last deep 
ravine upon the plateau. His pieces were 
nearly loaded again ; it was slow work, the 
four or five men about them being so weak 
from loss of blood. But he was determined 
to give the Mexicans one more round; and he 
did so ; it was, as one might say, right in 
their teeth ; and then he. and the few crippled 
fellows who had survived the carnage, hob- 
bled away.* 

* This was the manner in which Lieutenant O'Brien 
"turned over" (to use a professional term for the trans- 
ferring of property from one to another) these two cele- 
brated trophies to the Mexican army. They were after- 
wards recaptured by the gallant and lamented Captain 
Simon H. Drum, of the 4th Artillery, at Churubusco. It 
is somewhat remarkable, that a company of the very regi- 
ment to which they belonged should have retaken thera. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 115 

While those of the Mexican army nearest 
the guns closed in on them, and, having cut 
the dead and dying horses clear, limbered up, 
and then, by hand, rolled the pieces away, the 
rest continued rapidly on, their speed being 
now accelerated to a run. Captain Bragg had 
appealed to General Taylor for support. There 
was none to give him. That which had been 
in front the enemy were now cutting to pieces 
in the gorge to which it had been driven, 
while that in rear had not yet come up. " Main- 
tain THE POSITION AT EVERT HAZARD," WaS 

the order. And nobly was it executed. That 
magnificent battery,* — which had encountered 
the enemy in every battle from Palo Alto up, 
and before which the Mexican ranks had wilt- 
ed away as if breathed upon by the Angel of 
Death, — now belched forth a storm of iron 
and lead, which prostrated every thing in its 
front. Nothing could withstand its terrible 

Speaking of the time when they were recovered, General 
Scott says ; "Coming up a little later, I had the happiness 
to join in the protracted cheers of the gallant 4th on the 
joyous event ; and, indeed, the whole army sympathizes in 
its just pride and exultation." 

* Ringgold's celebrated battery until he fell ; then Ran- 
dolph Ridgely's at Resaca de la Palma and Monterey, till 
he died ; then Bragg's, 



116 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

fury. In a few moments Sherman placed his 
battery alongside, and took up the fire ; the 
dragoons were ordered to a position within sup- 
porting distance ; and, at the same instant, 
Washington at La Angostura began to tear 
open the gate of lancers from the gorge be- 
low. Davis and Lane, with the Mississippi" 
riflemen and Indiana Volunteers, having come / 
upon the plateau at some distance to the left 
of the artillery, poured volley after volley into* 
the enemy, striking him in flank, and enfilading 
his repeated ranks from right to left. The 
cannonade on both sides was now so incessant, 
and the roar of musketry so loud and contin- 
uous, that it was impossible, above the gen- 
eral clangor and din, to distinguish the report 
of any single gun. The struggle was most 
desperate. The whole air vibrated with the 
rushing current of balls. The Mexicans fought 
as they had never fought before, and with an 
utter disregard of life. Our men were falling 
on every hand. General Taylor himself was 
in the midst of the hottest of the fight, calmly 
giving his orders, his clothes torn and riddled 
with bullets; and, wherever the fury of the 
battle was greatest, there was General Wool, 
riding from point to point, encouraging and 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 117 

stimulating the men to still greater exertions. 
Each moment our fire seemed to grow more 
and more destructive. At length, the head of 
the Mexican column began to fall back ; not 
by retreating, but by being shot away. Others 
pressed on to supply the places of the fallen ; 
but they, too, went down. Finding it utterly 
impossible, notwithstanding all were advancing, 
to gain even a rod of ground against such a 
tempest, the whole column finally faltered a 
moment, then gave way, and in confusion re- 
treated to the cover of the deep ravine. Not 
till then did our fire slacken. The smoke, 
which had enveloped the two armies like a 
thick veil, then lifted slowly up, and there was 
the field, blue with the uniforms of the dead ! 

With the exception of the 18 and 24-pound- 
er battery and its strong supports, still in posi- 
tion at the head of the plateau, the whole 
Mexican army had now given ground. It had 
done so under the combined efforts of Washing- 
ton's guns at La Angostura, and of Sherman's 
and Bragg's batteries, Davis's riflemen, and 
Lane's volunteer infantry, on the plain above. 

The remains of the Second Illinois Regi- 
ment were soon got together after they had 



118 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

arrived near La Angostura from the fatal gorge, 
and were again brought upon the plateau by 
the modest and fearless Bissell, and posted on 
the right of the batteries. Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Weatherford also gathered up the fragments 
of poor Hardin's regiment, and marched them 
out to the head of the first gorge. They thus 
relinquished the parapet they had thrown up, 
and also the ditch to the right of Washington, 
to all that were left of the 2d Kentucky Vol- 
unteers, who had been brought away from 
the gorge after McKee and Clay had gone 
down, and were now commanded by the only 
surviving field-officer, Major Cary H. Fry, one 
of the most determined soldiers in the battle. 
Captain Bragg at this time advanced his bat- 
tery, supported by the Mississippians, two or 
three hundred yards up the plateau, and opened 
upon the Battalion of San Patricio with its 
heavy guns and its sustaining force, the corps 
of Sappers and Miners, now further strength- 
ened by the regiment of Engineers. Captain 
Sherman likewise pushed his pieces more to 
the front, and operated in that direction as the 
enemy from time to time became exposed to 
his fire. At the same moment, General Tay- 
lor directed Lieutenant-Colonel May, with the 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 119 

companies of the 1st and 2d Dragoons, and 
Pike's and Preston's companies, to move up 
the ravine toward the left, to prevent the ene- 
my from again getting to our rear by turning 
that flank. 

It was nearly five o'clock in the afternoon 
when all these dispositions had heeii made. 
The great tumult of the battle had just given 
place to an occasional cannonade, accompanied 
by a desultory and scattering fire of small 
arms, when the attention of our army was at- 
tracted toward the rear by the heavy report 
of guns in that direction. 

It will be recollected, that, during the 22d 3 
General Minon with his brigade of cavalry had 
come into the valley northeast of Saltillo, and 
had been ordered by Santa Anna to remain 
there until our troops gave way, then to fall 
upon them, and cut them up. About twelve 
o'clock, at noon, on the 23d, a large detach- 
ment of this brigade, apparently impatient at 
waiting for our precipitate retreat, passed along 
at the foot of the mountains, and ascended into 
the Pass through a deep ravine at long cannon 
range southeast from the redoubt. As they did 
so, and swept around to gain the road between 
the battle-field and the city, they were opened 



120 BATTLE Or BUENA VISTA. 

upon by Captain Webster with his 24-pounder 
howitzers, and, before they could get beyond 
the reach of the shells, sustained a slight loss 
both in men and horses. During the after- 
noon, this force was followed on the same 
route by the rest of the brigade, which, when 
it had united with its advance, halted in one 
immense column, — the whole being but a lit- 
tle over a mile in front of the town. In this 
position General Minon succeeded in intercept- 
ing the flight of several of the men who had 
left the field of battle, and in making them 
prisoners. The brigade, however, had hardly 
gained this new position, before Lieutenant 
Donaldson and Lieutenant Bowen, of Web- 
ster's Battery, galloped over to the head-quarter 
camp, and, in concert with Lieutenant Shover, 
proposed that Donaldson and Shover, — the 
former with one of Webster's howitzers, the 
latter with his 6-pounder gun, — should go out 
and attack it by themselves, and, if possible, 
force it from the Pass. It was a bold plan, and 
one they were the very men, not only to con- 
ceive, but to execute. Lieutenant Shover knew, 
that, if our army in front of Buena Vista had 
been routed, as the fugitives had reported, a 
most desperate stand would probably be made 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 121 

in front of the town, and, for the moment, 
therefore, he did not feel authorized to leave 
a position which General Taylor had ordered 
him to defend to the last extremity. But after- 
wards, when he found that our lines were still 
maintaining their ground, and that he could 
then leave the head-quarter camp without so 
much danger of compromising its safety, he 
dashed forward with his gun at a gallop, having 
for a support a promiscuous crowd of mount- 
ed and foot volunteers, teamsters, and citizens, 
whom Paymaster Weston, Mr. Winder, his clerk, 
and several other spirited gentlemen had gath- 
ered up among those who had fled to the town. 
They were without organization, or even any 
commander, and followed on after him as best 
they might, but yelling and whooping most 
infernally as they went. Lieutenant Donald- 
son soon got out his 24-pounder howitzer, and 
in a few minutes formed a junction with Lieu- 
tenant Shover, having for his support Captain 
Wheeler's company of the 2d Illinois Volun- 
teers. During this time, Mifion's brigade had 
been put in motion, and was now taking a 
direction evidently to regain the valley from 
which it had ascended. Lieutenant Shover, 
being ahead, was the first to bring it with- 



122 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

in range. He immediately opened upon it, 
striking the column in flank, and doing much 
execution. Lieutenant Donaldson, with his 
howitzer, then came alongside, when they two, 
thus united, absolutely drove General Mifion's 
whole command for at least three miles, 
causing him very considerable loss. At length, 
as these two determined officers arrived at 
some mills * near the mountains toward the 
east, Captain Wheeler's company was advanced 
as skirmishers, and occupied the buildings and 
a stone aqueduct which is there ; while the 
two pieces remained in battery, and continued 
to play on the brigade. General Minon sev- 
eral times formed some of the squadrons com- 
posing the rear of his column, with a view of 
charging these guns ; but the ground was so 
broken, and the fire so well directed, that he 
as often relinquished his purpose. Finally, 
he hurried on, and at length abandoned the 
Pass entirely, and, descending through the deep 
ravines, made a rapid retreat to the plain below 
the town. He continued, as he did so, a long 
while under the fire of Lieutenant Donaldson's 

* Arispe's Mills. They are turned by the water of the 
spring at Buena Vista. It is carried to them by means of 
a deep ditch or canal, and by aqueducts across the ravines. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 123 

howitzer, which was of heavier metal than the 
gun of his gallant comrade. This was one of 
the most daring exploits of the day. The 
communication between the army and the city 
being now completely opened again, Lieuten- 
ent Donaldson and Lieutenant Shover, with 
their pieces and supports, returned to their re- 
spective posts. 

Meanwhile, upon the battle-field, the enemy 
still held the position where he had first estab- 
lished the battery of the Battalion of San Pa- 
tricio ; and, as the sun settled down still lower 
in the west, he was seen to move up one or 
two other regiments, the more certainly to 
maintain it. As this force could not be driven 
from the point it occupied, except at a sacrifice 
we were not in an immediate condition to 
make, Captain Bragg's battery, accompanied 
by the Mississippians,* was withdrawn from 

* Colonel Davis was severely crippled, when he first 
came under fire in the morning, by a shot through the 
bones of the arch of one of his feet. He continued, how- 
ever, to lead his men until the fury of the battle had 
subsided, when he was forced by the exceedingly painful 
and dangerous nature of his wound to seek surgical aid. 
The remains of his gallant regiment fell into good hands. 
Major Bradford succeeded him in command, — a gentle- 
man always distinguished for his soldierly bearing, and 
conspicuous in battle for his coolness and utter contempt 
of danger. 



124 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

its fire to the foot of the plateau. Captain 
Sherman still remained at the same advanced 
point, and still continued to fire upon such 
portions of the enemy as he could now and 
then reach with effect. As the sun sank lower 
and lower, the occasional rattle of musketry 
gave place to dropping shot, which, in turn, 
became less and less frequent, and at length 
entirely ceased. The fire of artillery on both 
sides had gradually subsided ; the sun went 
down ; the heavy and reverberated report of 
cannon had longer and more uncertain inter- 
vals ; finally it was hushed ; a profound and 
painful silence succeeded, and again the cold, 
deepening shadows of evening began silently 
to steal over the field. The two armies were 
still there, and were still sternly regarding each 
other, face to face. They were standing al- 
most upon the same ground where they had 
respectively stood the night before. But in 
the Mexican lines we could hear no animated 
harangue, no responding vivas, nor approving 
cheers ; and the night wind brought not to 
our ears again the witchery of that sweet 
music. One could hardly realize, as he now 
looked upon the dark masses of the two ar- 
mies, that they had been so mingled in bloody 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 125 

strife since last he saw them similarly situ- 
ated ; all was now so calm. Indeed, hardly 
a sound could be heard, save the occasional 
dismal napping of the wings of the fierce za- 
palotes,* now hovering over the Pass, or the 
distant and almost human yell of the hungry 
wolves, answered by others away in the gloomy 
recesses of the surrounding mountains. They 
were already beginning to gather in to their 
horrible repast. And now, scarcely an evi- 
dence of the conflict could be seen, except 
when one took a closer survey of the ground 
about him. Then, scattered on every hand, 
how many and many were the dark forms 
which met his eye of what had been stalwart 
men and powerful steeds! some lying as if 
asleep, and some in strange, unnatural postures, 
with the moonlight resting steadily and cold 
on the bright points of uniforms and trappings, 
all still and firm as if they were belted to 
stone, — not tremulous and moving, as when 
on breathing, animated beings. These were 
fearful proofs of the desperate struggle which 
had gone by. These ghastly figures, with 

* Za-pa-lo-te, a species of vulture with black body and 
wings. The head, tail, and tips of the wings are white. 
They fly by night as well as by day, and are very fierce. 



126 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

the immovable luminous points resting upon 
them, were the solemn characters, the terrible 
hieroglyphics, traced upon the field, which, 
being deciphered amidst the obscurity of night, 
told in mute but eloquent language how dread- 
ful a day had passed. 

So ended the battle of the 23d of February. 

Early in the evening every preparation had 
been made to resist any attack the Mexicans 
might offer during the night. Along our 
whole front there was stretched a close chain 
of sentinels ; while, to observe the enemy's 
movements, should he attempt before morning 
again to turn our left by infantry along the 
mountains, a piquet of twenty-five regular 
dragoons, under Lieutenant Carleton and Lieu- 
tenant Givens, was sent far up the ravine in 
rear of the plateau. At the same time, the 
mounted companies of Captain Pike and Cap- 
tain Preston were directed to proceed to an ad- 
vanced point across the stream, (21) to watch him 
from that quarter. The remains of the Missis-/ 
sippi regiment were sent in to the head-quarter) 
encampment near Saltillo, while the seven\ 
fresh companies stationed in and near the city 7 
were ordered to replace them upon the battle- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 127 

field. Indeed, every arrangement was soon 
completed for renewing the struggle the coming 
day. The wounded were all gathered up, and 
carried to the cathedral in town.* Our troops, 
without moving from their positions, were 
supplied with bread, meat, and water ; and our 
dragoon and artillery horses, still under the 
saddle or in harness, were refreshed with for- 
age where they stood. All these things being 
done, the night passed slowly away, and, al- 
though cloudless, was extremely inclement. 
The troops were nearly exhausted from their 
protracted labors ; and now, in addition to 
their fatigue and want of sleep, they were suf- 
fering intensely from the cold. It was a most 
gloomy and horrible night, and one which our 
soldiers, who stood shivering there amidst the 
dead, and with their arms in their hands ready 



* A large train of wagons, filled with our wounded, was 
conducted to Saltillo, during the night of the 23d, by Enoch 
C. March, Esq., of Illinois, a most gallant old gentleman, 
and one who, though connected with the army only in a 
civil capacity, was always found, during the battle, where 
he could be of service ; whether it was in the thick fight, 
in gathering up our poor fellows who were mangled and 
bleeding, in rallying those who had given way, or in the 
melancholy duty of conducting this long train to the cathe- 
dral in the city. 



128 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

for instant combat, can never forget. No one 
despaired of ultimate success. The advantages 
the enemy had at first gained had been, one 
after another, wrested from him. So far the 
battle was ours ; and every man upon the field 
still held firm his resolution that it should con- 
tinue to be ours. But already seven hundred 
and forty-six * of our little army had been 
struck down, and all felt that the anticipated 
conflict of the approaching morrow would be 
as bloody as that of the day which had gone. 
No wonder, then, that this was a most anx- 
ious and melancholy night. 

During the evening of the 23d, General 
Marshall, with a battery of four heavy guns 
under the gallant and accomplished Captain 
Prentiss of the U. S. 1st Artillery, and a de- 
tachment of Kentucky Mounted Volunteers, 
started from the Pass of the Rinconada, and, 
by a forced march, succeeded in running the 
gantlet of Blanco's and Aguierra's rancheros at 
Capellania on his right, and General Mirion's 
whole brigade on his left, and, before morn- 
ing, arrived within striking distance of Buena 
Vista. Too much praise could not be bestowed 
upon tins little command for its extraordina- 

* See Appendix, E. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 129 

ry efforts to get to the field in time to share 
in the perils and glory of the conflict. In less 
than one night, it marched thirty-five miles 
over one of the worst of roads ; and, at the 
crossing of every ravine, the officers and men 
were obliged to assist with ropes, not only in 
letting the cannon down the first bank, bat in 
pulling them up the opposite one. In this 
way those determined fellows came on, with 
the enemy, more than ten to one, hovering 
about them on every hand. The timely ap- 
proach of this force, together with the troops 
he had drawn from Saltillo, afforded General 
Taylor quite as many combatants, in front of 
Santa Anna, as he had when the battle com- 
menced, and even one piece of artillery more. 
At length the long hours of the night had 
worn slowly away. Just before day, the moon 
went down. Soon afterward, the gray, and 
then the purple streaks of morning began to 
lighten up the eastern sky, and the stars, one 
by one, to melt into the blue of heaven. Grad- 
ually the surrounding objects became more and 
more distinct as the day approached. Then it 
was that a sound went along our lines ever to be 
remembered. It was but a single cry at first; 
then a murmur, which rose and swelled upon 
9 



130 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

the ear like the voice of a tempest ; then a 
prolonged and thrilling shout : 

Victory ! Victory ! Victory ! The ene- 
my has eled! The field is ours! 

Reader ! you should have heard the wild 
hurrah that then rang throughout that Pass ; the 
long, exultant, American "Hurrah!" Even 
the old mountains themselves turned traitors 
for the moment, and yelled to their hoarse 
echoes to repeat it. Again and again it 
sounded, and right over the inanimate remains 
of the gallant men who had poured out their 
blood and yielded up their lives to win this 
new glory for their country. And then, with 
mingled feelings of sorrow for the dead, joy 
for the victory, and gratitude to God, many 
a strong heart was moved ; the big drops 
trickled down many a rough and powder- 
blackened face ; and stern, brave men, whose 
eyes, for many a long day, had not known 
the refreshing moisture of a tear, wept now, 
even while they shouted in triumph. 

And it was so ; — the heavy masses of the 
Mexican army, which, when the night shut 
down, extended along our front from the 
stream to the mountains, were nowhere to be 
seen when the coming day again lit up the 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 131 

Pass. Silently, and almost as unaccountably, 
as the phantoms of a vision, they had gone 
away. But, in the twenty-five hundred dead 
and wounded men,* whom they had left be- 
hind, and who would not vanish with the 
darkness, we had melancholy evidence, that 
their having been before us, and struggled 
with us for two long days, was something 
more real than the flitting vagaries of a 
dream. 

By seven o'clock, our scouts brought the 
information that Santa Anna's whole army 
had fallen back on Agua Nueva; but our 
troops were not only too much exhausted, 
but too few, to pursue and attack him there. 
Soon afterwards, General Taylor, accompanied 
by General Wool and nearly all the staff, and 
having, as a guard, the companies of the 1st 
and 2d Dragoons, and Pike's squadron, moved 
up to the plateau and along over the battle- 
field; and thence, following the enemy's trail, 
to La Encantada. No one can imagine, much 
less describe, how dreadful a scene it was for 
the whole way. All of our men who had 
fallen, and whom the enemy had been able to 

* See Appendix, F. 



132 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

reach, were stripped of every article of cloth- 
ing, and gashed over with wounds evidently 
inflicted after death. The Mexicans, on the 
contrary, lay just as they had died. The 
plateau was covered with the dead, and the 
gorges and ravines in front were filled with 
them. The ground, furrowed by cannon-shot 
and torn by the bursting shells, was liter- 
ally reeking with blood. Men and horses, 
parts of equipments, shattered muskets, drums, 
trumpets, lances, swords, caps, — in fine, all the 
paraphernalia of armies, were scattered, crim- 
son with gore, in every direction. The Mex- 
ican wounded had nearly all been taken to the 
cover of the ravines, or along the road beyond 
cannon range ; and two or three surgeons had 
been left behind, and were now busily en- 
gaged in trying to save them. As our dra- 
goons passed along over this part of the field, 
the cries for water, which were heard in 
every direction, were truly heart-rending. Our 
men dismounted, and gave the poor fellows 
their canteens, and placed beside them, upon 
the ground, the contents of their haversacks. 
It was a touching sight. 

Arriving at La Encantada, General Taylor 
directed Major Bliss, Assistant Adjutant-Gen- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 133 

eralj escorted by twenty-five dragoons under 
Lieutenant Buford, to proceed with a flag to 
Agua Nueva, and negotiate with General 
Santa Anna an exchange of prisoners. We 
had taken nearly three hundred, and it was 
the General's desire to give them up for those, 
who. under Major Gaines and Major Borland, 
had been captured by General Minon, at 
Encarnacion, some time before the battle. 
The Mexican army had taken only seven of 
our men on the 22d and 23d of February, 
and those not on the battle-field, — there, they 
took none, — but between Buena Vista and 
Saltillo. General Taylor also directed Major 
Bliss to request the Mexican commander to 
send for the wounded he had left behind, and 
to express to him the desire still cherished by 
the American government for the reestablish- 
ment of peace. 

When Major Bliss arrived near Agua Nueva, 
he was halted by the enemy's guards ; but, 
having made known that the purpose of his 
visit was to obtain an interview with General 
Santa Anna, he and his interpreter* were 
both blindfolded, and were then conducted 

* Mr. Thomas H. Addicks, of San Antonio de Bexar, 
Texas. 



134 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

forward to a room in one of the buildings of 
the village which had escaped the conflagra- 
tion. There the bandages were taken from 
their eyes, when they found themselves in 
the presence of the Mexican President, sur- 
rounded by his generals. The Major at once 
informed his Excellency of the mission with 
which he was charged. To this, General 
Santa Anna, — to use his exact language, as 
reported by himself, — replied as follows : 

" Say to General Taylor, that we sustain 
the most sacred of causes, — the defence of 
our territory and the preservation of our 
nationality and rights; that we are not the 
aggressors, and that our government has never 
offended that of the United States. We can 
say nothing of peace while the Americans are 
on this side of the Rio Bravo del Norte, or 
occupy any part of the Mexican territory, or 
blockade our ports. We are resolved to perish 
or vindicate our rights. Fortune may not 
always favor the enemy ; his experience on 
the 22d and 23d should convince him that 
his luck may change. The Americans wage 
against us a war of Vandalism, whose excesses 
outrage those sentiments of humanity which 
one civilized nation ought to evince toward 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 135 

another. In proof of this assertion, you have 
but to go outside of this apartment to see still 
smoking the dwellings of this recently flour- 
ishing village ; you passed the same vestiges 
of desolation at La Encantada, on your route 
hither : and, if you will go a little farther on, 
there, to Catana, you will hear the moans of 
the widows and orphans of innocent victims 
who have been sacrificed without necessity. 

" With respect to the wounded whom Gen- 
eral Taylor invites me to send for, I can only 
say there can be none save those who have 
been too much hurt to arise from the field, or 
those most in advance who remained in the 
ravines ; and, as I have not the means for 
their conveyance, I trust that, under the pro- 
tection of the law of nations, he will have 
them carried to Saltillo. As for the prisoners 
General Taylor wishes to exchange, I know 
not who they can be, unless some of our dis- 
persed troops, or some who, from the fatigue 
of the last two days, remained asleep when 
we moved. But, in consideration of the 
courtesy he has shown with regard to our 
wounded, I consent, in the name of the nation, 
to release all the prisoners we have, whether 
taken at Encarnacion or La Angostura," 



136 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

His Excellency, in continuation, spoke of 
his having won the battle of General Taylor, 
as of something about which there could be 
no difference of opinion. He remarked casu- 
ally, that he had brought with him, as trophies 
from the field, three pieces of ordnance, and as 
many stands of colors ; * and that, in falling 
back to the position he then occupied, he had 
done so as a mere matter of convenience to 
himself and his army. Major Bliss and his 
interpreter were then permitted to take their 
leave without being blindfolded. The Major 
immediately returned, with his escort, to 
Buena Vista, the commanding General having 
come back from La Encantada during his 
absence. 

All the rest of the 24th, and the day follow- 
ing, were spent in collecting and burying our 
dead,f and in gathering up the Mexican 

* The reader has already been informed how Santa 
Anna obtained the three cannon to which he alluded. 
The flags, which he dignified by the title of " stands of 
colors," were merely the small ensigns which belonged to 
some of those volunteer companies who ran from the field, 
and which, being encumbrances to their flight, their bear- 
ers had thrown away. 

t Each regiment and corps chose for itself some quiet 
little nook to the left pf the small eminence < 22 > in rear of 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 137 

wounded, and taking them to Saltillo, where 
they received precisely the same personal 
kindness and professional treatment from our 
surgeons as had been bestowed upon the men 
of our own army. Preparations were also 
made to renew the conflict, should the enemy 
return. Captain Prentiss's heavy guns took 
the place of Washington's Light Battery at 
La Angostura ; and Lieutenant Benham, of the 
Engineers, with a large detail of men, soon 
improved the ditch, raised the epaulment, and 
strengthened the traverse at that point to such 
a degree as to make it far more difficult to 
carry than ever. 

Up to this moment, in describing the hur- 
ried movements and combat of the two forces, 
and the continued pressing of one important 
event upon another, it has been impossible, — 
without danger of injuring the impression it 
was hoped the reader would have of the bat- 
tle in its progress from the beginning, — to 
mention many individuals by name, except 
those belonging to the Line of the Army. To 
all who have thus far perused this narrative, 
this must certainly have been self-evident. 

La Angostura, and there buried, side by side, the remains 
of the gallant men death had selected from it. 



138 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

But justice to the Staff, always so distin- 
guished, demands that, at this point, the 
names of all its members, who participated in 
the conflicts of the 22d and 23d of February, 
should be distinctly recorded. 

Of the Adjutant-General's Department, there 
were but two officers on the field ; Major 
Bliss and Captain Lincoln. It would be su- 
pererogatory to write here any thing more 
than the names of these two distinguished 
soldiers. The same remark is applicable to 
Inspector-General Churchill, and to Colonel 
Whiting, Assistant Quartermaster-General, two 
of the staunchest veterans in the service. 
Colonel Belknap, on duty in the staff of the 
commanding General, was conspicuous for his 
efforts to rally our flying troops, as was 
also Major Munroe, Chief of Artillery. Major 
Joseph H. Eaton and Lieutenant Garnett, 
aides to General Taylor, and Lieutenant 
McDowell, aide to General Wool, carried the 
orders of their respective chiefs into all parts 
of the field, and were noticed everywhere for 
their coolness and address. The same may 
be said of Lieutenant Robinson, aide to Gen- 
eral Lane. Of the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment, there were but two captains present ; 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 139 

Captain William W. Chapman and Captain 
Chilton. The former, as extra aide to General 
Wool, displayed great bravery in repeatedly 
conveying orders under the most withering 
fire, and was highly complimented for his ad- 
mirable arrangements for the defence of the 
train on the afternoon of the 23d. The lat- 
ter, being extra aide to General Taylor, was 
conspicuous for his daring. Captain Sibley, 
of the same department, was on duty at the 
head-quarter encampment near Saltillo, where, 
though not actively engaged, he rendered good 
service. 

Of the Medical Department, there were on 
the field Dr. Hitchcock, Dr. Madison, Dr. Leve- 
ly, and Dr. Prevost. They were ably as- 
sisted by the surgeons of the Volunteer regi- 
ments. The courageous manner in which 
these gentlemen passed along our lines and 
rendered assistance to the wounded, often- 
times at the moment they fell ; the positions 
of imminent peril to which they cheerfully and 
at all times hurried, whenever their profession- 
al services were required on the instant ; the 
care with which they had those who were 
struck borne to the rear, and subsequently car- 
ried to Saltillo, and their assiduity in attend- 



140 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

ing upon them day and night, gained for them 
the unqualified praise of the whole army. 
Major Dix, Major Coffee, and Major Colquitt, 
of the Pay Department, and extra aides to the 
commanding General, were, in a high degree, 
conspicuous for their intrepidity. 

The services, during the battle, of Major 
Mansfield, of the Corps of Engineers, were just 
such as would be expected from an officer who 
enjoys the reputation throughout the army of 
being qualified in every respect to command a 
hundred thousand men. Lieutenant Benham, ^ 
of the same corps, was always in advanced posi- 
tions, and consequently always in danger. He 
performed his duties with great credit, and 
had the honor to be wounded. Of the Corps 
of Topographical Engineers, there were five 
officers present in the battle ; Captain Linnard, 
Lieutenant Sitgreaves, Lieutenant Pope, Lieu- 
tenant Franklin, and Lieutenant Bryan ; and 
each one of them was highly distinguished for 
the fearlessness with which he discharged the 
important duties of his station. They all 
served as extra aides to General Taylor or Gen- 
eral Wool. 

Lieutenant Kingsbury was the only officer 
of the Ordnance Department present. In ad- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 141 

dition to the performance of the legitimate and 
extremely arduous duties of his station, he 
likewise served as extra aide to the command- 
ing General, and acquitted himself with gal- 
lantry. The Subsistence Department was 
well represented by Captain Amos B. Eaton, 
who also served upon the field in the immedi- 
ate staff of General Taylor. Major Craig, 
Chief of Ordnance, and Surgeon Craig, Medi- 
cal Director, had been detached from head- 
quarters, and did not arrive upon the field un- 
til the morning of the 24th, but came in time 
to render valuable services in their respective 
departments of the staff. Major McCulloch, 
Major Roman, Captain Davis, Captain Howard, 
Captain Naper, and Captain Gilbert, of the 
Volunteer staff, did their duty like soldiers. 
Mr. Thomas L. Crittenden, of Kentucky, vol- 
unteered his services as aide to General Taylor. 
His coolness and daring were the subject of 
remark. Mr. March, Mr. Parker, Mr. Addicks, 
Mr. Potts, Mr. Henry A. Harrison, Mr. Bur- 
gess, Mr. Henry Howard, and Mr. Dusenbury, 
though not attached to the army in a military 
capacity, went upon the ground and fought 
with great courage. 

During the evening of the 25th, Lieutenant 



142 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Rucker, with his company of 1st Dragoons as 
a guard, marched all the Mexican prisoners, 
who were to be given up, to La Encantada, 
where Inspector-General Churchill formally 
turned them over to Captain Faulac of the 
Mexican army, the Adjutant-General of Santa 
Anna.* On the 26th, our spies reported that the 
enemy was beginning to break up his camp at 
Agua Nueva, and was rapidly falling back upon 
the road leading toward San Luis de Potosi. 
Early in the afternoon of that day, a strong 
party of observation, composed of the two 
companies of the 1st Dragoons, associated with 
Pike's and Preston's companies of Arkansas 
Mounted Volunteers, pushed on within half a 
mile of Agua Nueva, and, during a close re- 
connoissance, succeeded in capturing two lan- 
cers, from whom it was ascertained that the 
whole of the enemy's artillery and infantry 
had already gone, leaving a force of upwards 
of 3000 cavalry, under General Torrejon, to 
cover their retreat. On the 27th our entire 
army returned to Agua Nueva. The enemy's 
cavalry had abandoned that place at half past 
eight o'clock in the morning. Our advance- 
guard, composed of the 1st Dragoons, entered 

* See Appendix, G. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 143 

it two hours later. The rains of the village 
were literally crowded with the enemy's 
wounded, and many who had died were lying 
about still unburied. Here we learned from 
the surgeons and wounded officers, who had 
been left behind, that the whole Mexican army 
was in a state of utter disarray and demorali- 
zation ; that 4000 men, at least, had already 
deserted, 3000 of them having abandoned 
their colors on the night of the 23d.* It 
was General Taylor's purpose at once to pur- 
sue the enemy so as to beat up his quarters 
at Encarnacion by daybreak the following 
morning ; but, upon examination, our cavalry 
and artillery horses were found to be so ex- 
hausted, as to be in no condition to take the 
road for so long a march without water, until 
they had had at least one day's repose. 

On the 28th, the wounded whom the ene- 
my had abandoned at Agua Nueva were carried 
to the hospitals at Saltillo. Late in the evening 
of the same day, the few prisoners General 

* Which, was the fact. "We subsequently learned that 
at least 2000 went by Parras, toward the west ; that as 
many more passed by La Hedionda toward the east ; while 
large numbers took the Mazapil road, and scattered through, 
the country in that direction. 



144 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Minon had taken came in from Encarnacion, 
having been released at that point by Santa 
Anna, and furnished with passports to our army. 
Lieutenant Sturgis and the dragoon, who had 
been lost at La Hedionda on the evening of 
the 20th, and whom we had considered as sac- 
rificed, to our astonishment and great joy re- 
turned with this party. At the time they were 
captured, they had arrived at the top of the 
hill, which they had climbed in order to recon- 
noitre the valley beyond, when they were fired 
upon by an out-lying piquet of General Miri- 
on's brigade, some twenty-five in number ; but, 
fortunately, were not struck. They immedi- 
ately turned and ran down towards the place 
where they had been obliged to leave their 
horses, the whole piquet following them. In 
their rapid flight, they both fell prostrate, and 
were overtaken and secured by the Mexicans 
before they could recover their feet. They 
would ha^e been murdered on the instant, had 
it not been for the timely intervention of the 
officer commanding the party. They were 
then taken to General Minon's head-quarters 
at Guachuchil. The General treated Lieuten- 
ant Sturgis with marked courtesy and kind- 
ness, and showed a most gentlemanly and deli- 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 145 

cate regard for his situation and feelings ; not 
asking, or permitting any of his officers to 
ask, any questions about our army, about the 
immediate purpose of our strong party of ob- 
servation then at La Hedionda, or any other 
question which the Lieutenant could not an- 
swer with perfect freedom and propriety. He 
then figured as a mere spectator in the brigade, 
in its march to the valley north of Saltillo, and, 
during the battle, in its advance up into the 
Pass between the city and Buena Yista. All 
the time it was under the fire of Webster's, 
Donaldson's, and S hover's guns, he had the 
misfortune to be in imminent peril of his life 
from the shot of his most intimate friends, 
then cutting up the brigade about him. On 
the morning of the 24th, he still accompanied 
General Minon, as he left the valley by the 
Palomas Pass, and as he afterwards circled 
around by the way of San Antonio to La He- 
dionda, and thence, finally, to Encarnacion. 
On being released at that point, General Min- 
on kindly presented the Lieutenant with a 
most beautiful cloak, made of black velvet 
and richly embroidered ; and also with a horse, 
on which to return to Agua Nueva. Santa 
Anna likewise gave him a passport under his 
1.0 



146 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 

own hand. Justice toward General Minon, 
who is represented as being a most accom- 
plished and elegant gentleman, requires that 
his kind and considerate deportment toward 
one of our officers, whom the fortune of war 
had thrown into his hands, should be fully 
stated. 

On the 1st of March, Colonel Belknap was 
furnished with a command, and ordered to 
proceed to Encarnacion to cut up the enemy's 
rear guard of cavalry, reported as still remain- 
ing at that place. This command was com- 
posed of the four companies of the 1st and 
2d Dragoons ; two pieces from Washington's 
Battery ; two or three hundred volunteer cav- 
alry, including Major McCulloch's Texas spy- 
company, and Colonel Bissell's Second Regi- 
ment of Illinois Volunteers ; the last in wagons, 
so as to move rapidly and still be fresh for 
combat. It left Agua Nueva at three o'clock 
in the afternoon, the purpose being to march 
most of the way in the night, the better 
to elude observation, and then to attack the 
enemy in his camp at daybreak the following 
morning. There was every indication, for the 
whole of the way, of a most hurried retreat 
and the most dreadful distress. The road was 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 147 

literally strewed with the dead and dying, and 
with those perishing from fatigue and want of 
water. It was a most melancholy and touch- 
ing picture, that of soldiers in uniform, who, 
having been spared in battle, were now yield- 
ing up their lives without a wound. 

Colonel Belknap arrived at Encarnacion just 
at the first gray of morning ; but nearly all of 
the enemy had fled. Several white flags were 
flying upon the battlements of the church of 
the hacienda and other elevated points, indicat- 
ing any thing but resistance on the part of those 
who still remained. Some few officers and 
men, on seeing the approach of our party, at- 
tempted flight by mounting their horses and 
hurrying away. The Texas spy-company 
started in pursuit of them, and, as it was a 
level and open plain, the whole chase was in 
full view of the command. The Mexicans, 
one after another, were caught to a man, and 
conducted back to the hacienda. 

We imagined, that, during the battle, and 
upon the field when the conflict was ended, 
and afterwards upon the road over which the 
enemy had retreated, we had witnessed human 
suffering in its most distressing forms. But 
such was not the case. The scene presented 



148 BATTLE OP BUENA VISTA. 

to our eyes on entering within the walls of 
Encarnacion was so filled with extreme and 
utter agony, that we at once ceased to shudder 
at the remembrance of any misery we had ever 
before looked upon. There were three hun- 
dred men crowded together in that wretched 
place, two hundred and twenty-two of whom 
had been wounded at Buena Vista and brought 
thus far. There were five officers amongst 
them. As they had received but little surgi- 
cal attention, and had been harassed and worn 
down by travelling so far, while debilitated 
with pain and loss of blood, their wounds 
were nearly all either gangrened or highly in- 
flamed. Many of them were enduring the most 
excruciating torments ; many were delirious 
from excess of anguish ; while others, whose 
wounds had become mortified, were perfectly 
composed, and yet were even more piteous to 
behold, as their very quietness was but a more 
certain indication of speedy dissolution. In fine, 
the whole hacienda presented, at one glance, 
a picture of death, embracing all the degrees, 
from the strong man, bearing up with forti- 
tude against the sure and speedy fate which 
awaited him, down to the poor mortal strug- 
gling in the last throe of existence. And all 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 149 

intermixed with them, were the bodies of those 
who had just commenced the long journey, 
yet warm, and lying in the various posi- 
tions they were severally in when life depart- 
ed. Poor fellows ! No beloved eye had beamed 
tearfully upon them in their last moments. 
No voice of affection had murmured in their 
ear little gentle words of hope, or that touch- 
ing comfort, " We shall meet again!" And 
there was no kind hand to honor their remains 
by straightening them for the grave. 

During the fury and excitement of battle, we 
had no time to indulge in feelings of sympathy 
and commiseration for distress ; particularly 
when we witnessed it among those of our ene- 
mies who had been stricken down. Then, we 
were Americans, and they Mexicans, our bitter 
and relentless foes. Now, meeting together 
when the thunder and excitement of the battle 
had subsided, we were men, and were meeting 
too on that level, of which all become sensible in 
the presence of death. The Mexicans had been 
taught to believe the Americans were almost 
savages ; but, when they saw our men kneeling 
down beside their suffering comrades, grasping 
them kindly by the hand, giving them water, 
and all the bread and meat they had brought 



150 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

for themselves, they were affected even to 
tears, and feelingly exclaimed. " Buenos Ameri- 
canos ! Buenos Americanos!" There was a 
priest there, dressed in his white robes ; and, 
without exaggeration it may be said, his 
whole time, while we were there, was occu- 
pied in administering the sacrament of ex- 
treme unction to those who were dying. 

At Encarnacion, we learned that Santa 
Anna himself had hurried on directly to the 
capital, but that all that was left of his army, 
in a state of almost positive disorganization, 
had retired by the way of Cedral, Vanegas, 
and Matahuala ; General Minon's brigade cov- 
ering the retreat. Couriers preceded the Presi- 
dent, announcing to the people a brilliant vic- 
tory over the Americans ! * Bonfires and 
illuminations lit up every town and city from 
the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. 
Fetes and balls, and merry peals of bells, and 
grand processions and orations, were the con- 
sequences of the report of a triumph, which 
flew throughout the length and breadth of 
the land. As early as the 27th of February, 
Santa Anna wrote to the Minister of War and 

* See Appendix, H. 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 151 

Marine an account of the operations of 
his army, and concluded by saying ; " The 
nation, for which a triumph has been gained 
at the cost of so many sufferings, will learn, 
that, if we were able to conquer in the midst 
of so many embarrassments, there will be no 
doubt as to our final success in the struggle 
we sustain, if every spirit but rallies to the 
one sacred object of common defence. The 
army has done more than could be expected 
under the laws of nature. After a march of 
twenty leagues, [!] sixteen of them without 
water, and without other food than a single 
ration, which was dealt out at Encarnacion,* 
it endured the fatigue of combat for two days, 
and finally triumphed." What a triumph! 
If the manner in which the Mexican forces 
retreated from Buena "Vista, and went back 
toward the capital of the Republic, was that 
which should characterize the return of a vic- 
torious army, God spare us from ever win- 
ning a battle ! 

We afterwards learned from the Mexicans 
themselves, that every hacienda and rancho, 
on the road over which their countrymen re- 
treated, was crowded with the wounded, and 

* See Appendix, I. 



152 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

those who were sick and disabled from the 
hardships and sufferings incident to such a 
confused rout j and that, finally, of all that 
army which, one month before, had left San 
Luis Potosi, confident of success, and moving 
off in its strength with inspiring music, with 
pomp and magnificence, with the brazen 
clangor of trumpets, and with banners flying, 
— an army commanded by the President in 
person, and the finest the Republic had ever 
sent to the field, — there returned less than 
12,000 men, and they worn down by fatigue, 
with loss of discipline and morale, and with 
all their high bearing completely subdued. 

During the night of the 2d of March, Colo- 
nel Belknap's command returned to the camp 
at Agua Nueva. On learning the wretched 
condition of those of the enemy left at En- 
carnacion, General Taylor sent to their relief 
eighteen mule-loads of provisions and other 
necessaries, and, at the same time, had such 
of the wounded as were capable of being 
removed, brought to Saltillo, where they could 
receive better attention. 

While the main "Army of Occupation" 
was thus employed in the advanced points to 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 153 

which its operations had been pushed, its line 
of communication with its depots of supplies 
at Camargo, Matamoras, and the Brazos St. 
Iago, was entirely cut off by the large cavalry 
force, under General Urrea and General Ro- 
mero, then on the road between Monterey and 
the Rio Grande. One of our trains had been 
attacked, its escort captured, and its unarmed 
teamsters had been butchered, and then burnt 
with their wagons. Attempts to destroy sev- 
eral other trains had likewise been made ; but 
the different forces which guarded them had 
the better fortune to drive the enemy off, and, 
on two or three occasions, to cause him con- 
siderable loss. Now that Santa Anna's prin- 
cipal army had been beaten from our front, it 
was an easy matter for General Taylor to open 
his communication to the rear. For this pur- 
pose, leaving General Wool in command at 
Agua Nueva, he started, on the 8th of March, 
for Monterey, whence, proceeding in person 
against General Urrea and General Romero, 
he at once forced them beyond the Sierra 
Madre, thus leaving the Avhole valley of the 
Rio Bravo del Norte again in our possession. 

At the Battle of Buena Vista, the conflict 



154 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

was begun with only 4691 men on the Ameri- 
can side. Santa Anna's army numbered more 
than 21,000, in our front, all regulars ; General 
Minon's brigade of veteran cavalry of 2000, 
and the ranchero force at Cappellania of 1000, 
in our rear ; beside the brigade of General 
Urrea and General Romero, east of Monterey. 
The whole of this force, reckoning from the 
Rio Grande, was cut up or driven back far to 
the south of the mountains, and all by our 
handful of men, in less than twenty days 
after the first gun was fired. 

The effects of the Battle of Buena Vista 
upon the war were incalculable. Had Santa 
Anna destroyed General Taylor's army, — and, 
under the circumstances, defeat and total de- 
struction were synonymous, — he could have 
poured his triumphant column through that 
gate of the mountains, the Rinconada Pass, 
into the valley of the Rio Grande ; and then, 
subsisting upon our stores, fighting with our 
guns and our ammunition, and using our ex- 
tensive means of transportation with which 
to pursue his onward course, what could have 
interposed to prevent this self-styled " Napo- 
leon of the West " from executing his favorite 
vaunt, that he would plant the flag of Mexico 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 155 

upon the banks of the Sabine ? In addition to 
all this, Colonel Doniphan's command, which 
fought the battle of Sacramento on the 28th 
of February, must inevitably have been cut 
off, and every advantage, which, from the 
battle of Palo Alto up to that time, had been 
won at so much cost of blood and treasure, 
would have been snatched from us, and the 
whole war farther removed than ever from any 
prospect of a termination. Had Santa Anna 
been victorious over the Americans at Buena 
Vista, and then pushed his operations into 
Texas, with a force, it will be remembered, of 
over 26,000 regulars, well supplied with all 
the materiel of war, would the investment of 
Vera Cruz have been attempted at the time 
it was ? Would not the veteran army of the 
United States have been compelled first to re- 
trace its steps in order to force back the veteran 
army of Mexico ? * Suppose Santa Anna had 
been successful, would he not have had time, 
had it been his policy so to do, to reach Vera 
Cruz, and attack General Scott, even before the 
city and the Castle of San Juan d' Ulloa had sur- 
rendered ? Or, had he marched directly to Cerro 

* See Appendix, J. 



156 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

Gordo, with such an army to oppose the 
advance of the General-in-Chief to the capital, 
how immense the force we should have been 
obliged to send into the field ; how great 
must have been the destruction of life ; and 
what an expense of treasure and of time, too, 
must there have been, before our flag would 
have floated, as it now does, above the towers 
of the ancient city of the Aztecs. Besides, had 
Santa Anna been successful in his northern 
campaign, the whole nation would have' been 
animated with enthusiasm, and would have risen 
in arms. The internal dissensions, by which its 
energies were paralyzed, would have disap- 
peared. The cries of the numerous parties 
opposed to the government would at once 
have been drowned by shouts of triumph. 
Then, with her population of seven millions, 
with her people united and taking up arms, and 
with her difficult mountain passes, Mexico would 
have been a formidable antagonist to any in- 
vading army, which should attempt to pene- 
trate to her capital. It needed but one victory 
to produce this great change. And so the lead- 
ing men of the country understood it. They 
had, therefore, spent much time, and exercised 
great care, in collecting, even from remote states, 



BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 157 

in organizing, and in preparing at all points, 
what was called " the Liberating Army of the 
North." It was composed of the very flower 
of Mexico, and was commanded by her most 
distinguished warrior, — the prestige of whose 
name alone was regarded as worth a host. 
It was a beautiful body of men ; the just 
pride and the hope of every patriot in the 
land. In a country whose vitals were torn by 
open rebellion, as well as by the insidious and 
assassin-like machinations of plotting factions, 
— without a dollar in her treasury, and with 
ruined credit, — it had been a great, a most diffi- 
cult, effort to produce it. It went forth, and 
the whole nation kept a listening ear turned 
toward the direction of its march. Each 
breeze from the north was expected to bear 
upon its wings a cry of victory. It came at 
length, and glad sounds, as of a Jubilee, 
arose from every city and hamlet ; but, ere 
their echoes had died away, the shattered 
remnant of an army was seen returning ; — an 
army defeated and ruined. It was all that 
was left of the Liberating Army of the North. 
The whole Republic comprehended at once the 
character of the triumph it had just celebrated, 



158 BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA. 

and, losing heart, despaired of success from 
that moment. 

Such were the results of the operations of 
General Taylor's little "Army of Occupation " 
during one short month. 

When the disparity of numbers, — the long 
time in which the two armies struggled to- 
gether, — their condition, respectively, as they 
approached each other, and their comparative 
condition after they had separated, — are all) 
carefully considered, the Battle of Buengr 
Vista will probably be regarded as the greatest 
ever fought on this continent ; and it may be^ 
doubted if there can be found one that sur-j 
passes it in the history of any nation or of 
any age. ^J 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX. 



A. 

(See page 35.) 

The following letter, descriptive of the marches al- 
luded to in the text, was written by the author of the 
preceding narrative, for the Washington " Union." 
As it may be interesting, from the account it gives of 
the country passed over by the " Centre Division," 
commanded by General Wool, it is here published at 
length. 

"Camp of the Centre Division, near Parras, 

"State of Cohahuila, Mexico, December 13, 1848. 

"To the Editor of the Union: 

" The numerous correspondents to your paper, who 
are with General Taylor and General Kearney, have 
kept your readers well advised of all the transactions 
of the ' Army of Occupation ' and the ' Army of the 
West,' even to the minutest detail. But the ' Centre 
Division,' under General Wool, although it has ad- 
vanced farther into Mexico than either of the other 
two, has hardly been heard from since the day it 
passed the Rio Bravo del Norte. 

" The Centre Division is now within 600 miles of 
the Pacific Ocean. Its march, since it first passed the 
natural boundary of the two republics, has been a long 
11 



APPENDIX , 

and excessively arduous one ; and I now devote the 
first leisure hour I have had for a great while to giving 
you a brief and hurried account of some of the events 
which thus far have marked its progress. 

" On the 8th of October, the advance of this col- 
umn, commanded by General Wool in person, and 
numbering 1954 in the aggregate, arrived on the left 
bank of the Rio Grande, near the Mexican town San 
Juan Bautista, better known as Presidio. It had been 
eleven days in traversing the country from San 
Antonio de Bexar to that point, a distance of 182 
miles. A flying bridge had been constructed by 
Captain Fraser, of the Engineers, and transported in 
wagons from San Antonio, for the passage of the riv- 
er. It was soon put in operation ; and, by the evening 
of the 11th, the whole of the command, and the im- 
mense train of stores which accompanied it, were safe- 
ly landed upon the opposite shore. The Rio Grande 
at that place was found to be 270 yards wide. Its 
current was exceedingly rapid, and its waters turbid 
and of a yellowish-gray color, like those of the 
Missouri. 

" At this point General Wool published an order, in 
which he defined the course he intended to pursue. He 
said that he had not come to make war upon the people 
or peasantry of the country, but to compel the govern- 
ment of Mexico to render justice to the United States. 
All, therefore, who did not take up arms against us, 
but remained quiet and peaceable at their homes, he 
should not molest or interfere with, either as regarded 
their persons or their property ; and all those who 



APPENDIX. 163 

should furnish supplies would be treated kindly, and be 
liberally paid for whatever we should receive from 
them. 

" The better to protect the ferry established upon the 
river, and to keep it secure for the troops and supplies 
to be forwarded by Inspector-General Churchill, com- 
manding the rear column, Captain Fraser was di- 
rected to construct a redoubt as a tete de pont on the 
right bank, and, on the left, a field-work ; — to be de- 
fended by two companies. A force sufficient to carry 
into effect such a purpose being detached from the col- 
umn, the general pushed on to San Juan Bautista. 
This town contains two thousand inhabitants, all Mex- 
icans. The buildings are of stone, or unburnt bricks 
(adohe), and, with but little preparation, are capable of 
being easily defended against a superior force. Not 
the slightest resistance, however, was offered, although 
the people are represented as being exceedingly hos- 
tile toward us. But a few weeks before our arrival, 
three or four companies of dragoons are said to have 
been quartered there ; but they had fallen back on the 
main forces assembled at Monterey. Presidio, like 
Bexar, Guerrero, &c, was one of the points estab- 
lished early in the settlement of the country for the 
confinement and labor of state prisoners ; and by an 
edict of the king of Spain, published in 1772, it was 
created a military post, and made one of the cordon 
then formed for the protection of the frontier. 

*" The Jesuits erected a large mission within a mile 
of the city similar to the Alamo, La Purisima 
Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada, near 



164 APPENDIX. 

San Antonio. It is a massive structure, built entirely 
of stone, but now fast falling to decay. When we 
passed it, the wind was howling through its ruined 
arches, like a voice of mourning for those gone from 
beneath them, never to return. Mitred bishop and 
cowled monk, veiled nun and timid devotee, have 
long since passed away ; and the grass and wild-flow- 
ers grow in the deserted corridors and over the 
crumbling walls, and flocks of goats herd in the 
solitary courts. 

" The country in the vicinity of this city we found 
to be very fertile, especially where it was artificially 
irrigated. Cotton, sugar, corn, wheat, sweet potatoes, 
and almost every description of garden vegetables, 
besides figs, oranges, peaches, and other fruits, were 
raised with but little labor, and in considerable abun- 
dance. We were able to procure a sufficient supply 
of forage for the use of the command, and at very 
reasonable rates. 

" Going from thence westward, the column was 
obliged to march twenty-six miles without water, 
when it arrived at the town of San Juan de Nava, sit- 
uated in the middle of an immense plain, and watered 
entirely by irrigating ditches, which are said to have 
their fountains in a range of hills twenty miles to the 
left of the trace. This town is represented as con- 
taining twelve hundred inhabitants, and is built en- 
tirely of adobe. Three fourths of the houses were 
not occupied at all, and were fast becoming untenant- 
able. The people, with two or three exceptions, were 
wretchedly poor, and even more ignorant than the 



APPENDIX. 165 

Indians of our plains. The business of the place is 
the raising of stock, which is tended by herdsmen, and 
driven from point to point upon the prairie, that 
spreads out almost to the horizon on every side. 
In the immediate vicinity of Nava there are exten- 
sive fields of corn ; and there, likewise, a sufficient 
supply was procured for the forage of all the animals 
of the column. 

" From Presidio to Nava, the whole country is a 
perfect level. In the time of the Jesuits, it was all 
highly cultivated ; but now there is not a single hu- 
man habitation between those two places. In the 
olden times, when it was smiling with plentiful crops 
of corn and grain, and was enlivened by the voices of 
husbandmen, the lowing of cows, the bleating of 
numerous flocks, the tinkling of bells, and the noise 
and hum of life, how beautiful it must have been, 
compared with its present desolation ! Marks of the 
irrigating dikes traverse the plain in every direc- 
tion ; and at distant intervals, along the wayside, 
are seen the ruins of many of the ancient granaries, 
once filled with plentiful harvests, but now empty, 
and fast crumbling back to the level from whence 
they were reared. 

" A few miles west of Nava, and to the left of Gen- 
eral Wool's trace, there is a beautiful island of timber, 
which the Mexicans call El Arbolado de los Angeles, 
— The Grove of the Angels. It is said to surround a 
fine spring of water, and is considered by the inhabit- 
ants as a sacred place. This is mentioned merely 



166 APPENDIX. 

to illustrate the fact, that in this country, as in all oth- 
ers where the people are ignorant and superstitious, 
every natural object of beauty or sublimity, — wheth- 
er mountain, plain, grove, or river, — is invested with 
some name calculated to awaken poetic and religious 
associations. 

" The next city we visited was San Fernando de 
Rosas, containing between three and four thousand 
souls. It is embosomed in an extensive mot of tim- 
ber, which, from its size, and the character of the 
trees, we supposed must have been planted when the 
city itself was first built. A fine stream of clear 
water, called Arroyo Escondido, — Hidden Brook, — 
runs on nearly three sides of it; and, stretching off all 
around, lies one of the most fertile plains in Mex- 
ico. There are two extensive plazas in San Fernan- 
do, each surrounded by the residences of the most 
wealthy citizens, which, although built of stone and 
in the Mexican style, have an air of neatness and 
taste we had hardly expected to see. The people 
we found to be very friendly in their feelings toward 
us ; and whatever supplies we required, they furnished 
with much cheerfulness. When we commenced our 
line of march the next day, every eye was turned to 
take one more look of San Fernando, — literally, 
of Roses. And the scene it presented, with the 
quaint dome of its old church surmounted by a cross, 
and rising above the surrounding foliage, — the pure 
white of its edifices, glistening here and there through 
the dark green trees, — and its singular position, like 
that of an oasis, not in a desert, but on an uninhabited 



APPENDIX. 167 

plain, — was one of the most picturesque and pleasing 
we had ever beheld, and one we shall long love to 
remember. 

" Our course now became more southerly, the direc- 
tion being for the head waters of the Santarita, and a 
pass through the Sierra de San Jose. We had not pro- 
ceeded far before the country began to be more ster- 
ile and broken, and long ranges of mountains to 
skirt the horizon, both upon our right hand and upon 
our left ; while, in front, a formidable chain of them 
presented a barrier which it appeared impossible we 
should ever be able to pass with our artillery and 
immensely long train of wagons. However, as we pro- 
ceeded, valley after valley opened before us, through 
which our road wound upwards, until at last we attained 
their very summit. Even were there room enough 
in this letter for the execution of such a purpose, it 
would be impossible to describe the magnificence of 
the view then spread out before us. Toward the east 
we looked down on the widely extended plain over 
which we had so long been journeying. In the dis- 
tance the grove of San Fernando was still visible ; 
while at our feet the valley of the Santarita lay like a 
map, with the winding course of the river distinctly 
traced upon it by the dark line of foliage that fringes 
its banks. On either hand the peaks of the range 
upon which we then stood appeared less and less as 
they became more removed in perspective, until, in 
the far-off blue, their outlines faded from our sight, 
and mingled with the faint undulations of the sur- 
rounding horizon ; while, in the west, the Sierra de 



168 APPENDIX. 

Santa Rosa ascended like a huge and battlemented 
wall, with its serrated crest jutting aloft in strong re- 
lief against the clear sky, and its precipitous sides 
hung about with festoons of white and purple clouds. 

" The San Jose mountains are clad only with a 
thin covering of grass, sprinkled here and there 
with isolated tufts of sotol, cactus, palmetto, and yucca 
aloifolia. Their upper stratum is fossiliferous lime- 
stone, but below they are reported as being very rich 
in silver and copper. Many years ago, a mine is 
said to have been opened a few miles to the left of our 
road, and operations in it were carried on with con- 
siderable success ; but at length the Camanches be- 
came so troublesome, that the workmen were obliged 
to abandon it. 

" From these mountains we descended through a 
tortuous gorge to the Llano de San Jose, — a broad 
plain, extending with few interruptions to the foot of 
the Sierra de Santa Rosa, a distance of thirty miles ; 
and our route lay directly across it. Midway in this 
plain, and only three miles apart, we encountered two 
formidable rivers, — the Alamos and Sabinas, which, 
at their junction, form the Solado, an affluent to the 
Rio Bravo from the west, and uniting with it at 
Guerrero. They were each about forty yards in 
width, upwards of four feet in depth, and had a 
current of almost incredible rapidity. In short, they 
were absolute torrents ; to cross which we had neither 
bridges nor boats, nor the means wherewith to con- 
struct them ; and it was almost a matter of impossi- 



APPENDIX. 169 

bility for horses or mules to maintain their footing in 
the water, even for a moment. However, by the as- 
sistance of ropes and the active exertions of the men, 
the difficulties they presented were at length over- 
come ; and all the forces, with the cannon, and the 
ammunition and provision trains, consisting of two 
hundred heavily laden wagons, passed them both, 
without any material loss or accident. 

" The direction of our march was then for the city 
of Santa Rosa, which is situated immediately at the 
foot of the Sierra of that name. It contains be- 
tween two and three thousand inhabitants, is built 
of the same material as the other towns we had 
passed, and is capable of being as easily defended. 
Many years ago, it was a place of much importance 
from the rich veins of silver found in its vicinity ; but, 
the political dissensions of this unhappy country 
prostrating, as they did, every thing like enterprise, the 
mines, by not being worked, were allowed to be- 
come filled with water, from which they have not yet 
been entirely cleared. It has been left for an Amer- 
ican citizen, named Dr. Long, a resident in Santa 
Rosa, to undertake their drainage ; and he will soon, 
no doubt, reap an abundant reward for his labors. 

" The General entered the city with his whole force 
on the 24th day of October, and without meeting 
the slightest opposition from the inhabitants. They, 
in turn, likewise furnished all the supplies he re- 
quired ; and, in fact, regarded the approach of his 
column with feelings of less dread than they would 



170 APPENDIX. 

have done, had it been composed of troops of their 
own nation. Before the Centre Division left San 
Antonio de Bexar, General Wool had made every effort 
to procure accurate information respecting the va- 
rious routes to Chihuahua. He was assured, that 
whichever he should select, he must of necessity- 
pass near or through Santa Rosa ; and that from 
there he might have it in his power to make choice of 
any of the three following, viz. through Nacimiento 
del Rio, or Head of the River Sabinas, via San Carlos 
and Alamo ; through Puerto de Obayos, by the way 
of Cuatro Cienagas and Santa Catarina ; or through 
Monclova and Parras. The whole country between 
the Sierra de Santa Rosa and Chihuahua, as far 
north as Paso del Norte and south to Monclova, was 
represented as consisting of mountains and extensive 
arid plains, with few inhabitants and no supplies, and 
destitute, in a great measure, of water. When he 
reached Santa Rosa, he found these representations 
confirmed, and that the two first-named roads were 
altogether impracticable, for precisely those reasons. 
To a great extent they were nothing but mule-trails, 
over which, so far as he could learn, no wagon had 
ever passed, and where, too, for distances exceeding 
ninety miles, not one drop of water was to be found. 
To attempt to lead an army over such a country by 
such roads would, therefore, have been an act of 
madness ; and one which could not for a moment be 
seriously thought of. He accordingly adopted the 
only alternative left him, which was to push on to 
Monclova, and from thence to Parras, where he would 



APPENDIX. 171 

strike the great road from Saltillo to Chihuahua, upon 
which he could, without much further difficulty, pro- 
ceed to the latter place. Our course was, therefore, 
changed directly south, through the valley lying be- 
tween the Sierras of Santa Rosa and San Jose. For 
nearly the whole distance we met with few indica- 
tions that the country was at all inhabited, save 
occasional flocks of sheep and goats, tended by soli- 
tary pastores, and numbering, in some instances, as 
many as 20,000. 

" As we proceeded, the barrenness and sterility of 
the valley increased ; the soil being unable to support 
much else beside the countless varieties of the cactus, 
dwarf mesquite, sotol, yuca, and the celebrated agave 
Americana, — the century plant of the north, and the 
maguey of Mexico. From the agave the people of 
this country make their national drink, — pulque, the 
process of manufacturing which has been so often 
described ; and this, when distilled, forms a nauseous 
and intoxicating liquor, called mescal. 

" The mountain sceneiy, surrounding us on eve- 
ry side, we had never seen equalled ; and many was 
the picture presented to us, when the sight of long 
ranges and groups of them, with their precipitous sides, 
now in deep shadow, now standing sharply out in the 
bright sunlight, would have filled with ecstasy a Sal- 
vator Rosa. 

" At length we arrived at the Paso de las Hermanas, 
situated in which is an extensive hacienda, occupied by 
Senor Miguel Blanco, one of the most influential citi- 
zens of Coahuila. He received us with much courtesy, 



172 APPENDIX. 

and extended towards the officers the hospitalities of 
his mansion. Going through this pass, we at once 
entered into the great valley of Monclova, watered by 
a river of the same name and the Rio Nadadores, — 
each an affluent to the Solado. Our course then lay 
in a southerly direction across this valley, till we 
arrived at the city of Monclova itself, before which 
General Wool again encamped his column. Where 
no resistance had been made on the part of the people, 
no surrender of any city through which he had passed 
had been demanded by the General ; but, as the author- 
ities of this place had made a protest against his ad- 
vance upon it, he determined at once to take formal 
possession of the town, and accordingly, on the 3d of 
November, entered it with all his forces, and had the 
national flag displayed from the top of the Governor's 
palace, situated on the principal plaza. Here it 
was determined at once to establish a depot, and to 
collect all the corn and flour from the surrounding 
country it would be possible to obtain. This would 
obviate the necessity of depending on their being re- 
ceived by the long and, in a wet season, totally im- 
practicable route from Port La Vaca, or even from 
Camargo ; to which point a direct communication was 
immediately opened, it being, for land carriages, 408 
miles nearer to Monclova than the former place. 
The General intended to relinquish all hope of re- 
ceiving supplies from the east so long as any possi- 
bility existed of gathering them up in the country ; and 
every exertion was accordingly made to carry such a 
purpose into effect. It was ascertained that large 



APPENDIX. 173 

quantities of wheat and corn had been sent from Mon- 
clova, and the neighboring town Cienagas, to supply 
the Mexican army at Monterey, and, more recently, at 
Saltillo ; and, on the very day we entered the city, 
10,000 pounds of flour, which was going in that direc- 
tion, were seized and at once turned into our depot. 

" General Taylor having sent orders for the Centre 
Division not to proceed beyond Monclova until the end 
of the armistice, or the receipt of other instructions, it 
was obliged to lie there for the period of twenty-seven 
days. All this time was occupied in perfecting the 
discipline of the troops, in the collection of stores, as 
before stated, and in making extensive reconnoissances 
of the surrounding country. During that time In- 
spector-General Churchill came up with the rear col- 
umn. By his arrival our train was also enlarged by 
100 wagons more, well filled with supplies. 

" On the 24th of November, — the armistice having 
expired, — the whole division, with the exception of a 
command of about 250 men, which was left to guard 
the depot at Monclova, took up its line of march for 
Parras, 180 miles distant ; the general course being 
nearly south-west. If you will lay before you a Span- 
ish or Mexican map, you will be able to trace our 
route through the following places, viz. Castafia, 
Marques, Bajan, La Joya, Punta de Estanosa, Punta 
de Reata, Jaral, San Antonio, Teneja, Cienaga 
Grande, Galera, and Ojuelos, on to Parras, at which 
place we arrived on the 5th instant, and are now 
encamped before the town. 

" Parras is said to contain 6000 inhabitants. It is 



174 APPENDIX. 

built in such a manner as to render it more difficult of 
capture than any town we have yet seen in the Ke- 
public. The streets are exceedingly narrow and 
crooked, and nearly every one of them has on each 
side a thick adobe wall, some ten or twelve feet in 
height. A high range of mountains rises up immediate- 
ly in the rear of the city, easy to be maintained ; while 
along its entire front, and skirting each of its flanks, 
are immense vineyards, surrounded, also, by walls 
of great height and thickness. Its situation is at the 
foot of the celebrated Bolson de Malpami, and is about 
100 miles from Saltillo, 200 from Durango, 300 from 
San Luis de Potosi, 150 from Monterey, and 450 from 
Chihuahua. It is represented as being near the centre 
of the best grain-growing region in Mexico ; the busi- 
ness of the place, however, is the culture of the grape, 
and large quantities of wine and brandy, of a supe- 
rior quality, are annually transported on the backs 
of mules to all the principal towns throughout the 
country. 

" This city being the key to Chihuahua, General 
Wool was anxious to reach it much earlier than he 
did, and would have done so by nearly a month, had 
it not been for the armistice, as has already been 
shown. Once being here, he would be at liberty to go 
with his whole force to that place, or send a detach- 
ment to take possession of it, while the rest would be 
free to cooperate with the Army of Occupation, or to 
move on Durango or Zacatecas, as the exigencies of 
the service should most require. As it was, however, 
intelligence was received, previous to his arrival here, 



APPENDIX. 175 

that most of the troops, which had assembled in the 
upper provinces, had fallen back upon the lower, 
thereby rendering the necessity of the whole division 
marching in that direction out of the question. And 
now the proximity of Santa Anna, and the great 
efforts he is making to concentrate and prepare for the 
field the most formidable army Mexico has ever ar- 
rayed against us, imperiously demand that we remain 
at or near the position we at present occupy, that we 
may be ready at any moment to form a junction with 
General Taylor, and perform our part in the most 
fearful game that has been played for many a year, 
and one in which we have Santa Anna for an antago- 
nist ; — but who yet has been able to compute the 
stakes ? 

" I have already made this letter too long ; but, be- 
fore I close it, permit me to say, that, for the mainte- 
nance of this column, almost every article, whether of 
ammunition, subsistence, or other stores, had to be 
transported from La Vaca here, — a distance of 800 
miles. The labor required to procure the necessary 
wagons, teams, &c, and to organize them into trains, 
though great in itself, was not to be considered in com- 
parison with that of guarding them through a hostile 
and, in a measure, unknown country, and bringing 
them, without loss, over desolate plains, rapid and al- 
most impassable rivers, over high sierras, and through 
dangerous defiles, where it was incumbent upon every 
man not only to exercise the utmost vigilance, but lit- 
erally to put his shoulder to the wheel. Wherever 
we went, the necessities of our position urgently de- 



176 APPENDIX. 

mancled that we should be encumbered with all these 
things so indispensable to our existence, to the success 
of our enterprise, and to what, in any situation, would 
make us an effective force, in despite of the naturally 
inhospitable barrenness of the country, or the efforts 
of an active enemy in laying it waste before us. As 
yet our progress has not been retarded by the firing 
of a single shot ; but our officers and men have la- 
bored with a zeal and fidelity, which can never be ap- 
preciated but by those who have witnessed their efforts, 
and observed from day to day how many have been 
the obstacles they have overcome to reach this ad- 
vanced position. The continued evidences of their 
energy and perseverance have been sufficient, aside 
from the other and more weighty considerations of 
patriotism and desire for distinction, to warrant the 
belief that the flag of our far-off and beloved country 
is safe when intrusted to such hands. C." 

Four days after the above letter was written, the 
Centre Division left Parras for Agua Nueva. 
See Appendix, B. 



B. 

(See page 5.) 

After the Battle of Buena Vista had been fought, 
several officers are said to have claimed the honor of 
having chosen the ground upon which it took place. 
As the selection of the field had been made by Gen- 



APPENDIX. 177 

eral Wool himself, he desired to correct the mistake 
which those officers were laboring under, evidently 
from ignorance of that fact. Accordingly he wrote 
the following note to Captain Carleton, of the 1st 
Dragoons, who, as one of his aides-de-camp, was with 
him at the time the choice was made. 



"Buena Vista, July 27, 1847. 

" Sir : You may recollect, that the next evening (that 
of the 22d December last) after my arrival at Agua 
Nueva from Parras, I left my camp to visit Generals 
Butler and Worth, who were both reported as being 
confined by illness at Saltillo. I was accompanied 
by Captains Lee, Hughes, Chapman, my aide, and 
yourself, acting aide-de-camp. Before we reached 
La Encantada, it became quite dark ; and, whilst pass- 
ing through the valley toward Saltillo, some of the 
party, on several occasions, had to dismount in order 
to keep the road. It was too dark, owing to a fog, to 
make a reconnoissance of the valley * that night. 

" The next morning, I returned to Agua Nueva, ac- 
companied only by yourself. The remainder of my 
staff did not leave Saltillo until toward night. When 
I arrived at the Pass, or Narrows, where Washing- 
ton's Battery was stationed during the Battle of Buena 
Vista, I halted to examine the position. Will you do 
me the favor to state what passed, or was said, on that 

* Viz. the Pass of Buena Vista. 
12 



178 APPENDIX. 

occasion, in reference to the Pass, the surrounding 
heights, and the gullies on the right of the position ? 
" I am, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

« JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. A. 
" To Captain J. H. Carleton, 
"ls£ Dragoons, Present." 

To this letter Captain Carleton replied as follows : 

"Buena Vista, Mexico, July 27, 1847. 

" General : I have been honored with the receipt 
of your note of this date, and, in reply, would state, 
that, by a reference to my ' Journal of the Marches, 
fyc.y of General Wool's Column,'' I find, that, on the 
21st of December, 1846, you arrived in the valley of 
La Encantada, with your whole force, consisting of 
cavalry, artillery, and infantry, with their complete 
trains, and encamped at Agua Nueva, situated at its 
southern termination. That point is twenty miles in 
advance of Saltillo, which city was then occupied by 
General Worth, to whose assistance you had marched 
from Parras, a distance of one hundred and fifteen 
miles, in less than four days. At that time, the com- 
mand of General Worth was only a brigade, and he 
had sent, by express, a request to you, at Parras, to 
join him with your column, as soon as possible, to assist 
in repelling an attack, then daily expected from the 
enemy in force under General Santa Anna. 

" About the same time, General Butler arrived at 
Saltillo from Monterey. On the evening of the 22d 



APPENDIX. 179 

of December, you left your camp, at Agua Nueva, to 
visit both him and General Worth, — it being re- 
ported that they were confined to their beds in con- 
sequence of the wounds they had received. You 
were accompanied by Captains Lee, Hughes, and 
Chapman, U. S. A., by your aide, Lieutenant McDow- 
ell, and by myself, then on duty also as one of your 
aides. It was quite dark when you left Agua Nu- 
eva ; and, when you arrived at that part of the Pass of 
Buena Vista known as La Angostura, a heavy fog, 
accompanied by rain, had set in, rendering it so much 
more so, that it was with the utmost difficulty the road 
could be kept. Indeed, the officers who were with 
you were frequently obliged to dismount and seek for 
it on either hand. It was past eleven o'clock at night 
when you and your party reached Saltillo. The next 
day, when your interview with Generals Butler and 
Worth was concluded, you started on your return to 
your camp at Agua Nueva, accompanied only by my- 
self, all the other officers who had gone to Saltillo 
with you being still detained there by official busi- 
ness. When you had proceeded as far as La Angos- 
tura, one mile in advance of the hacienda of San Juan 
de la Buena Vista, you halted, and, after having 
glanced over the ground on each side, you said to 
rne ; ' Mr. Carleton, this is the very spot of all others 
I have yet seen in Mexico, which I should select for 
battle, were I obliged with a small army to fight a 
large one.' 

" You then pointed out to me what you conceived 
to be the great military advantages it possessed, and 



180 APPENDIX. 

said that the net-work of deeply-worn channels on 
the right would completely protect that flank ; that the 
heights, on your left, would command the road, while 
the ravines in front of them, and which extend back 
to the mountain on that side, would cripple the move- 
ments of the enemy, should he attempt to turn that 
flank. You continued conversing with me on this 
subject, until, as you may recollect, we met Lieuten- 
ant McCown, 4th Artillery, a mile or more farther on. 
So forcibly was I impressed with your choice, and all 
you had said in favor of it, that, immediately after my 
arrival at Agua Nueva, I described the place to some 
of the officers of your staff, — I think to Inspector- 
General Churchill, and his assistant, Captain Drum, 
U. S. A., saying at the time, that you had selected it 
for a battle-ground, and repeating all you had stated 
in relation to it. 

" It may not be improper likewise to add, that, on the 
26th of December, General Butler visited you at Agua 
Nueva, and that, on the 27th, before he returned to 
Saltillo, he gave you an order to move with your 
troops, and select, in the neighborhood of La Encan- 
tada, or farther down the stream towards Saltillo, a 
suitable place, and there encamp. As this order was 
entirely discretionary as to the precise locality for 
your proposed camp, you chose the plain between La 
Angostura and the hacienda, before alluded to, as the 
best, because it was not only less exposed to the bleak 
winds, which continually swept through the Pass at 
La Encantada, and which, at that season of the year, 
would cause the troops much suffering, as we were all 



APPENDIX. 181 

in tents and fuel was very scarce, but offered the addi- 
tional advantage of an abundant supply of pure wa- 
ter; and, besides, was just in the rear of what you 
had selected as a strong point of defence. 

" That evening (the 28th), General Butler sent you 
an order to return to La Encantada, and encamp 
there. You wrote a note to him, requesting, for rea- 
sons which you assigned, that he would permit you to 
remain where you were, and sent it by Colonel Har- 
din. Captain Drum and myself accompanied Colonel 
Hardin, and were present at the interview between 
General Butler and him. During the conversa- 
tion that ensued after your note had been delivered, 
Colonel Hardin, among other reasons which he gave 
why he hoped your request might be complied with, 
urged the fact that you were near a point which you be- 
lieved you could maintain, in case the enemy advanced 
upon you from the direction of San Luis de Potosi. 
General Butler said he would not revoke his order, and 
remarked, that, if the Mexican army came, he had 
already chosen a ground for battle, and even gone so 
far as to fix the points to be occupied by the several 
corps. That ground was the broad plain immediately 
in front of Saltillo ; and I think he also said he had 
already prepared roads for the artillery, leading from 
the city up to it. I have mentioned all these cir- 
cumstances, to show with what anxiety and exertion 
you endeavored to be permitted to occupy a point 
within striking distance of the one you had selected as 
the best for battle. On the 30th of December, your 
whole command was obliged to retrace its steps to La 



182 APPENDIX. 

Encantada, which it did with evident reluctance, as 
all the officers agreed entirely with you in opinion as 
to the disadvantages arising from such a change of 
position. 

" Previous to the time when you first went to Sal- 
tillo (the 22d), not one of your officers had ever gone 
through the Pass of Buena Vista. All those who 
went with you, on that occasion, were prevented, 
as I have shown, by the extreme darkness, even from 
seeing the great road on which they sought to travel, 
and could not, therefore, have had at that time a 
favorable opportunity for making military reconnois- 
sances. You returned from the city, and had pointed 
out the position to me, as I have stated, before they 
repassed over it. The choice and partialities of the 
officers in Saltillo, it is fair to presume, for many rea- 
sons, were coincident with those expressed by Gen- 
eral Butler. When General Taylor came up from 
Monterey, he saw, at a glance, that your views were 
correct ; and, although he moved the whole army for- 
ward to Agua Nueva, as there he could have an ex- 
tensive plain for the drill and discipline of the troops, 
with wood and water convenient, and besides, by 
doing so, could take the initiatory step in one of the 
most beautiful pieces of strategy of modern times, — 
still, when, by the advance of Santa Anna, the mo- 
ment had arrived to gain the grand result by feign- 
ing a precipitate retreat, that retreat was but a rapid 
movement back to the identical spot which you had 
chosen, and to which the Mexican army was hurriedly 
drawn on, with all its fatigue and disarray, consequent 



APPENDIX. 183 

upon a forced march of upwards of forty miles ; and 
here, on the 22d and 23d of Februaiy, 1847, was 
fought the battle of Buena Vista. The result of that 
conflict afforded conclusive evidence of the correct- 
ness of your first remark ; — for there four thousand 
six hundred and ten Americans contended success- 
fully against upwards of twenty-two thousand Mexi- 
cans. 

" This letter, General, is but a dry detail of facts ; 
but I hope they are set forth with sufficient clearness 
to prevent their being misunderstood. 

" I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 
" Your obedient servant, 

" JAMES HENRY CARLETON, 

" Captain XI. S. 1st Dragoons. 
"To Brigadier- General John E. Wool, 
" Commanding, fyc. §c. 85c., Present." 

The following is the note which General Wool 
wrote, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing 
letter : 

" Head-Quarters, Buena Vista, Mexico, 
August 1, 1847. 

" My dear Sir : I give you many thanks for your 
interesting letter, of the 27th ultimo, relating to the 
selection of the field of battle, to meet General Santa 
Anna and his forces, called by him La Angostura, 
and where, he said, on the two eventful days of the 
22d and 23d of February last, ' blood flowed in tor- 
rents, and the field of battle was strewed with the 
bodies of the dead. 1 



184 



APPENDIX. 



" The great credit given, throughout the United 
States, to officers said to have suggested the field of 
battle to me, induced me to call your attention to the 
subject. Your letter, which is strictly in accordance 
with my own recollections, settles the question. I 
never thought, however, that any great credit was due 
on account of the selection, for it appeared to me too 
obvious to escape observation ; still, if great credit is 
due to any one, it belongs to myself, for, in company 
with you, on the morning of the 23d of December 
last, it attracted my attention, as set forth in your let- 
ter, and before any person had indicated to me the 
position. 

" 1 am very truly yours, 

JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. A. 

"To Captain James H. Carletox, 
" 1st Dragoons, Present." 

General Wool permitted the reporter of the New 
Orleans " Picayune " to make a copy of Captain Carle- 
ton's letter for that paper. After it was published, it 
became the occasion of several communications, pub- 
lished in various newspapers, by different officers. 
But, as none of these communications controverted the 
facts it specified, they remained unanswered. Cap- 
tain George W. Hughes, of the Topographical Engi- 
neers, was one of the officers who had claimed to 
have suggested to General Wool the battle-ground, 
and to have pointed out its advantages while in the 
discharge of his official duties. As soon as Captain 
Carleton's letter was published, he addressed a long 



APPENDIX. 185 

communication to the Editors of the " National Intel- 
ligencer," in which he says ; " General Wool (on the 
twenty -seventh of December) instructed me to select a 
camp [!], in reference to a field of battle, at some 
point between Encantada and Saltillo, — not, how- 
ever, to approach nearer than three miles of the latter 
place. I do, however, most solemnly aver, that the 
General gave me no other instructions than those 
above mentioned, and that he never once named to 
me, nor even hinted at, Buena Vista, — nor did any 
other person." " As a mere encampment, the place 
chosen by me, at Buena Vista, was unexceptionable. 
It was on a smooth, beautiful plain, well sheltered 
from the prevailing winds, with cool, delicious water 
in front and rear, good grazing in the vicinity, and 
plenty of fuel hard by. Important as were all these 
considerations, they were not the most important. Its 
highest recommendation was its remarkably defen- 
sible character. As a comfortable, agreeable, and 
convenient camp, it was not necessary to look far- 
ther." 

" No one but myself, I believe, ever committed him- 
self, in writing at least, or in any other way (unless, 
perhaps, by some slight, trivial phrase), by suggesting 
Buena Vista as a battle-ground, until after the battle 
was fought. Its advantage then became apparent, no 
doubt, to hundreds ! I regret that there should have 
been any controversy about this matter ; and I cer- 
tainly should have taken no part in it, but for the fact 
that my memoir was published during my absence 
with the army ; and that this publication has been 



186 APPENDIX. 

made necessary by an attempt to deprive me of the 
credit of some little service which my friends think I 
have rendered to the country." 

For the information of the reader, it is necessary to 
state, that Captain Hughes left Saltillo for Brazos San- 
tiago early in January, nearly six weeks before the 
battle was fought. He has not been upon the ground 
since. All he states in reference to the selection of 
the camp at Buena Vista is probably correct. If 
there is any thing in Captain Carleton's letter calcula- 
ted to " deprive " Captain Hughes " of the credit of 
some little service, which his friends think he has ren- 
dered to the countiy " by that important act, it is 
there through mistake, and is hereby recalled. No one 
could wish to deprive the gallant captain of his hard- 
earned honors. It is granted that he did select that 
encampment, as he claims to have done. In return, 
will not that chivalrous officer extend the same gener- 
osity toward General Wool ? If Captain Hughes im- 
agines, for a moment, that General Wool desires to 
receive credit for having chosen " the encampment 
at Buena Vista," he does the General great injustice. 
But why should there be any controversy at all ? 
General Wool claims to have selected the battle- 
ground at La Angostura, — Captain Hughes claims to 
have selected the site of an encampment at Buena 
Vista. The two places are one mile and a half 

APART. 



APPENDIX. 187 



C. 

(See page 37.) 

Ejercito Libertador Republic ano, 
General en Gefe, Senoria de Campaiia. 

Esta V. S. rodeado de veinte mil hombres, y huma- 
namente [no] puede escapar de sufrir una derrota y de 
ser anichilado con los suyos ; pero mereciendome 
V. S. consideracion y particular aprecio, quiero evi- 
tarle una catastrofe, y al efecto le hago esta intimacion 
para que se rinda a discrecion, seguro de que sea 
tratado con la consideracion propia del caracter Me- 
jicano ; concediendole al efecto una hora de termino, 
que correra desde el momento en que se presente un 
parlamentario en el campo de V. S. 

Con este motivo protesto a V. S. mi atenta con- 
sideracion. 

Dios y Libertad ! Campo en la Encantada, Febrero 
22, 1847. 

ANTO. LOPEZ DE SANTA ANNA. 

Senor Gen. Z. Taylor, 
Com' cite de las Fuerzas de los E. U. 



D. 

(See page 82.) 



Boston, June 26, 1848. 
My dear Colonel : I have recently written a His- 
tory of the Battle of Buena Vista, in which I have spok- 
en of the important and highly distinguished service 



188 APPENDIX. 

you rendered during the darkest period of that sangui- 
nary conflict, in rallying the troops belonging to the 
Second Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, which had 
given way before a vastly superior force of the ene- 
my, and were flying the field. Will you do me the 
favor to state how many, in your opinion, you rallied 
on the occasion to which I have alluded ? 
I have the honor to be, 

Very faithfully, yours, 

JAMES HENRY CARLETON, 

Captain U. S. 1st Dragoons. 
To Roger Sherman Dix, 
Brevet Lieut.- Col. U. S. A., Present. 

Boston, June 27, 1848. 

My dear Captain : I have received your letter of 
yesterday, informing me that you have written a His- 
tory of the Battle of Buena Vista, and inquiring how 
many of the 2d Indiana Volunteers were rallied after 
that regiment had " given way before a vastly superior 
force of the enemy, and were flying the field." 

I am glad to learn, that one who had the best possi- 
ble opportunity of observing the battle, and who dis- 
tinguished himself by some of its most brilliant acts, 
has undertaken to write its history. 

In reply to your inquiry, I would state, that nearly 
200 of the Indiana Regiment, about tivo thirds of those 
who had broken and fallen back, were rallied, and re- 
turned to the field. 

You have, without doubt, (as I am sure it is your 
intention to do to all) done full justice to our gallant 



APPENDIX. 189 

friend, Brevet Major T. B. Linnard, for the valuable 
assistance he rendered on the occasion referred to. 

Thanking you for the very complimentary expres- 
sions contained in your letter, 

I remain, my dear Captain, 

Most faithfully yours, 

H. S. DIX, 
Brevet Lieut.- Col. TJ. S. A. 
Captain J. H. Carletom", 
1st U. S. Dragoons, Present. 



190 



APPENDIX. 

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(See page 128.) 



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HEAD-Q.UARTERS ArMY OF OCCUPATION, 

Agua Nueva, Mexico, March 6, 1847. 

Z. TAYLOR, 
Major- General U. S. Army commanding. 
W. W. S. Bliss, A. A. G. 



APPENDIX. 



191 



REPORT OF THE KILLED, WOUNDED, AND MISS- 
ING, IN THE BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA, 

February. 22d and 23c?, 1847, by Detachments, Regiments, 85c, 
as shown mostly by the Muster Rolls of February 2&, 1847.* 
Buena Vista, Mexico. S. CHURCHILL, 

April, 1847. Inspector-General. 



REGULARS. 


GENERAL STAFF. 


Adjutant-General's Department. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


si 

I 


Sou 





Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Capt. Geo. Lincoln, 


A. A. G. 


1 








1 


1 








Corps of Engineers. 








1st Lt., 


1 


... 


1 


2 


THIRD REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 
Capt. Sherman's Company E. 








2d. Lt. . 
Privates, 


1 
14 




15 


17 


Total, . . 


15 



* This report shows the number to be eighty less than was 
exhibited in that of the Assistant Adjutant-General, made a day or 
two after the battle, the excess in which may be accounted for 
by the confusion in camp at the time, and its embracing the slightly 
wounded, many of whom, and of those reported " missing," were 
" present for duty " at the subsequent muster. S, C. 



192 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Bragg's Company C. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


fci 
B 

§5 




~5 
o 
h 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No 


Christ. F. "Waibinger, 


Private, 


1 


Corp., . . 
Privates, 


1 
3 




5 


22 


Total, .. 


4 


FOURTH REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 
Captain "Washington's Company 3. 


Calvin Doughty,.... 
Thomas Weekly, .... 


Private, 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 


1st. Lt., 
2d. Lt.,. 
Sergts.,. 
Privates, 


1 

1 

2 

18 




28 


50 


Total,.. 


6 


Total, . . 


22 


•• 


FIRST REGIMENT OF DRAGOONS. 

Company M.. 








Privates, 


3 


•• 


3 j 53 


Company X!. 


Total in 1st Dragoons, 







Capt., ... 
2d Lieut., 
Farrier, . 
Privates, 


1 
1 
1 
3 


" 


6 


59 


Total,... 


6 
9 






•• 


•• 


Captain L. B. Webster's Company of 1st Artillery, garrisoned the re- 
doubt at Saltillo. 



APPENDIX. 



193 



SECOND REGIMENT OF DRAGOONS. 
Company 22. 



Killed. 



Rank. No 



Wounded. 



Rank. No 



B.Lt.Col. 
Private, 






61 



VOLU NTEERS. 


GENERALS AND GENERAL STAFF. 


| 




Bgr. Gen. 1 


•• 


1 1 62 


ARKANSAS MOUNTED REGIMENT. 

Field and Staff. 


Archibald Yell, .... 


Col.... 


1 






■• 


1 


63 


Captain Taylor's Company &.. 



George Norwood,. 
Andrew Teague, . 



Private, 



Total,.. 2 6 



Sergt., .. 
Corp., . . 
Privates, 



8 71 



Captain Danley's Company 



Thomas G. Rowland, 



Private, 


1 

2 


Privates, 


2 






Total, . . 


2 




2 




4 



75 



Captain Patricel's Company C. 



David Hogan, 

"Williams, 



Private, 



Total, 



Privates. 



13 



194 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Porter's Company D« 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


1 


■s-S-s 

S3 c S 

& B 

a 


(3 

o 

& 
89 


Names. 


Rank 


No. 


Kank. 


No. 


Andrew R. Porter, . . 
Richard M. Saunders, 
Green H. Higgins,.. 
Harrison Penter, .... 
William Pbipps, .... 


Captain, 
Corp., . . 
Private, 

Total,.. 


1 
1 
1 

2 
3 

5 


Sergt.,.. 
Privates, 


1 
3 

4 




9 


Captain Dillard's Company r. 


Darian Steward, .... 
Harman Winn, 


Corp., .. 

Private, 

Total, . . 


1 

1 

2 


Sergt.,.. 
Privates, 


1 
2 

3 




5 


94 


Captain Hunter's Company G-. 








Private, . 


1 


1* 


2 


96 


Captain W. H. Preston's Company H. 


Wilson W.Tomberlin, 


Corp., .. 

Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
1 

2 


Private,. 


1 

1 




3 99 


Captain Inglish's Company I. 




Private, 
Total,.. 


1 
2 

2 

18 


1st Lt... 


1 


— 


5 


104 


William Robinson, . . 

Total in Arkansas 
Mounted Reg. 


Privates, 


2 

3 

23 


1 


42 




* Private. 
f Companies E, (Pike's,) and K, (Preston's,) stationed in Saltillo, six 
miles from the field of battle, on the 22d, and with May's squadron on 
j the field, on the 23d. 



APPENDIX. 



195 



KENTUCKY MOUNTED REGIMENT. 

Field and Staff. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


p 

5 


- to 


o 
Eh 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No 


Edward M. Vaughn,. 


1st Lt. 
and Adj. 


1 






•• 


1 


105 


Captain "Wilam's Company C. 


J. F. Ellingwood, .... 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 

3 


Privates, 


2 
2 




5 


110 


Captain Price's Company A. 


Bronson "Warren, .... 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 
2 

2 


2dLt., .. 1 
Privates, 3 

4 




6 


116 


Captain Clay's Company I. 








2d Lt.,.. 
Corp.,... 

Total, .. 


1 
1 

2 




2 


118 


Captain Beard's Company K. 


William W. Bayles,.. 

Alex. G. Morgan, .... 
Nathaniel Ramsey,.. 
William Th waits, . . . 


Corp., .. 

Private, 

<< 
Total, . . 


1 
1 

2 
3 
4 
5 

6 


Private, . 


1 
1 




7 


125 



196 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Heady's Company E. 



Killed. 



C. B. Thompson,. 



Private, 



Total,.. 1 



Wounded. 



Rank. No, 



2d Lt., 
Sergt., 



M o- 



Captain Pennington's Company G-. 



Henry Danforth, . . 

John Ross, 

J. M. Rowlin, . . . 
Jesse Martin,. .... 

G. F. Lilley, 

G. Routson, , 



Private, 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 












6 


Priv'ts, 


4 






Total,.. 


6 


.... 


4 


•• 


10 



Captain Shawhan's Company D. 



John A. Jones, 

Wm. A. M'Clintock, 
James Pomeroy, .... 
David R. Rodgers,.. 



Private, 



Total, 



1 

2 
3 
4 

4 


Capt.,.. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
6 

7 




11 



Captain Lillaed's Company B. 



David J. Lillard,. 
A. J. Martin, .... 
Lewis Sanders,.. 
Patrick Quigley,. 
Michael Nouse,.. 



Total in Kentucky 
Mounted Reg't,.. 



Sergt., . 
Private, 



Total, 



•2-2 



APPENDIX, 



197 



SECOND KENTUCKY FOOT REGIMENT. 

Field and Staff. 



Killed. 



Wounded. 



Rank. No 



=3 g g 

S Its 



Wm. R. M'Kee, 
Henry Clay, Jr., 



Colonel, 
Lt. Col., 



Total,. 



156 



Captain Moss's Company JL» 



A. M. Chandoin,. 
John W. Smith, . 



Private, 



Total, 



2d Lt.,. 
Priv'ts, 



161 



Captain Chambers's Company "B. 



Henry Wolff,... 
Wm. Blackwell, 
L. B. Bartlett, .. 
Mager Updyke,. 



Sergt., . 
Private, 

(C 


1 
1 

2 
3 


Priv'ts, 


3 






Total, . 


4 


.... 


3 




7 



168 



Captain Thompson's Company G. 



Sidney W. Williams, 
Robert M. Baker, . . . 

Micajah Booth, 

William Banks, 

John Moffit, 



Corp., .. 


1 










Private, 


1 


2d Lt.,. 


i 






" 


2 


Sergt., . 


1 






" 


3 


Corp.,. . 


1 






<( 


4 


Priv'ts, 


3 






Total, . . 


5 


.... 


6 


•• 


11 



179 



198 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Fry's Company D. 



Killed. 



Names. 



Rank. No 



"Wounded. 



Rank. No 



Peter Trough, 

"William Hammond,. 

Harvey Jones, 

Joseph. Walder, 



Corp., . , 
Private, 



Total, 



Private, 



Captain Cutter's Company 21. 



Quiney J. Carlin,... 
Mart. L. Roderburgh, 

Hiram Frazier, 

John Hearkins, 

Robert M'Curdy, 

Hercules Snow, 



Sergt., . 


1 










Musi'n, 


1 










Private, 


1 

2 










" 


3 


Corp., . 


1 






" 


4 


Priv'ts, 


6 






Total, 


6 


.... 


7 


'•• 


13 



Captain Willis's Company P. 



Wm. S. Willis, . 
Harvey Trotter, 



Capt.,.. 
Private, 

Total, 


1 
1 

2 






.. 


2 



Captain Dougherty's Company G-. 



James R. Ballard, 
John A. Gregory, . 

Willis West, 

Jesse J. Walker,.. 



Private, 


1 

2 
3 

4 


2d Lt., 

Priv'ts, 


1 
3 






Total, . . 


4 


.... 


4 


•• 


8 



APPENDIX, 



199 



Captain Joyner's Company H. 


. Killed. 


Wounded. 




•sf-S J 
s2|| 


"13 
o 
6h 


Names. 


Rank. 


No 


Rank. 


No 


John M. Dunlop, ... 
William Gilbert,.... 


Sergt., . 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
2 
1 
2 
3 

5 


Sergt., . 
Corp.,. . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
2 
5 

8 




13 


222 


Captain Turpin's Company I. 


Henry Edwards, .... 
Abraham Goodparter, 


Corp.,.. 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 

1 

2 

3 


Priv'ts, 


2 
2 




5 


227 


Captain M. Brayer's Company K. 


James Johnson, .... 

Wm, P. Reynolds, . . 
Arthur Thacker, .... 
John W. Watson, . . 

Total in Kentucky 
Foot Regiment, .... 


Private, 

€t 

(( 

Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 

7 


Sergt.,. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
6 

7 




14 


241 


.... 


44 


.... 


43 


•• 


87 




FIRST ILLINOIS REGIMENT. 

Field and Stapf. 




Colonel, 
Mus'n.,. 

Total, . . 


1 
1 

2 





.. 


.. 


2 


243 



200 



APPENDIX 



Captain Smith's Company B. 



Killed. 



Names. 



F. S. Carter,. 



Private, 



Total, 



"Wounded. 



Rank." 



Captain, 
Corp.,.. 
Priv'ts, 



Captain Fry's Company C. 



Merritt Hudson,.... Mus'n., 1 



Captain Zabriskie's Company 3D. 



Jacob W. Zabriskie,. 
Augustus Canauglit, 
John Emerson, 



Captain, 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
1 

2 

3 


Sergt., 
Priv'ts, 


1 

2 

3 


— 


6 



Captain Richardson's Company X!. 



Silas Bedell, 

Henry H. Clark,.... 

Wm, Goodwin, 

James J. Kinman, . . 
Randolph R. Martin, 
G. S. Richardson;... 
Sam'l W. Thompson, 
Charles "Walker 



Private, 



Total, . , 



Priv'ts, 



Companies A, (Morgan's,) and I, (Prentiss's,) stationed in Saltillo. 



APPENDIX, 



201 



Captain Montgomery's Company H. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


s 




o 


Names. 


Rank. 


No 


Rank. 


No 


Bryan B,. Houghton, 

Matthew Dawdy, .... 
Thomas J.Gilbert,.. 
Elisha C. Mays, 


1st Lt.,. 
Mus'n.,. 
Private, 

"i 
Total, . . 


1 
1 
1 

2 
3 
4 

6 


2d Lt., . 

Priv'ts, 


1 
3 

4 




10 


276 


Captain Mower's Company 2C. 


John B. Backman,.. 
Inglehot Claibsottle, 

Aaron Kiersted, .... 
Wm. Vinkleharker, . 

Total in First Illinois 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 

8 


Priv'ts, 


2 

2 




10 


286 




29 




16 


•• 


45 




SECOND ILLINOIS REGIMENT. 
Field and Staff. 








1st Lt. > 
& Adj. ( 
Sergt. ) 
Maj. 3 
Qr. M. ) 
Sergt. 3 

Total, 


1 
1 
1 

3 




3 


289 



202 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Coffey's Company A. 



Killed. 



Names. 



Allen B. Rountree,. . 
William R. Kinyon, . 
Wm. L. Smith, 



2d Lt.,. 
Private, 



Total, 



Wounded. 



Capt., . 
Sergt., . 
Priv'ts, 



12 



= 3 = 
l3 §"2 



15 



304 



Captain Woodward's Company 3. 



Wm. C. Woodward,. 
John Bartleson, .... 
Aaron Atherton,.... 

William Price, 

Wm. J. Ferguson, . . 
Joseph W. Emerson, 
George W. Crippen,. 

Abner Durock, 

John W. Kiger, .... 
Richard E. Scott,... 



Capt., .. 


1 










1st Lt.. 


1 










2d Lt. . . 


1 

2 










Sergt., . 


1 










Private, 


1 
2 










tt 


3 

4 










" 


5 


Private, 


1 






Total, . . 


10 


.... 


1 


•• 


11 



315 



Captain Baker's Company C. 



Edward F. Fletcher, 
Rodney Ferguson, . . 

L. Robbins, 

William Hibbs, 

James S. Patten, . . . 
Amos Woodling, . . . . 



1st Lt.,. 


1 










2dLt.,.. 


1 
2 










Corp.,. . 


1 


Capt., . 


1 






Private, 


1 


2d Lt.,. 


1 






" 


2 


Priv., . 


11 






Total,.. 


6 


.... 


13 


•• 


19 



334 



Companies D, (Wheeler's,) and F, (Hacker's,) stationed at Saltillo. 



APPENDIX. 



203 



Captain Lott's Company E. 



Killed, 







"Wounded. 




a c S 










Eank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


s 


**1 


2d Lt.,. 


1 










Private, 


1 










" 


2 


Priv'ts, 


4 






Total,.. 


3 


.... 


4 


•• 


7 



Timothy Kelley, 

John Gable, 

Thos. D. O'Connor,. 



Captain Lemon's Company G-. 



Thomas Jenkins, . . . 
David A. Hill, 

¥m. S, Messinger,. . 



Private, 


1 
2 
3 


Priv'ts, 


2 






Total, . . 


3 


.... 


2 


•• 


5 



Captain Kaith's Company H. 



Alexander Conze, . . . 
Christian Crossman, 

George Lartz, 

Emanuel Schoolcraft, 
Franz Weber, 



Private, 


1 
2 
3 










" 


4 


2d Lt.,. 


1 






a 


5 


Priv'ts, 


10 






Total, . . 


5 


.... 


11 


2* 


18 



Captain Miller's Company I. 



Emanuel Bradley, 
Goforth Clark, 
Henry Cook, . . 
John M. Davis, 
William Hogan 
John Lear, .... 
John M'Crury, 



ey, -. 

, .. . . 


Private, 


1 

2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 


Sergt.,. 
Priv'ts, 


1 

13 








Total, . . 


7 


.... 


14 


•• 


21 



* Privates. 



204 



APPENDIX. 



Captain Stareuck's Company K. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


fci 


jag 










fflf-S 


"3 


Names. 


Rank. 


No 


Rank. 


No 


S 


1 |-a 


o 


James C. Steele,.... 


2d Lt., . 


1 












Robert Abernathy,.. 


Private, 


1 












John F. Bowen, .... 


" 


2 














<< 


3 














" 


4 












John B. Kimzey, .... 


" 


5 














" 


6 














<< 


7 












Win. A. Ragland, . . 


" 


8 












John B. Wilks, 


" 


9 


Priv'ts, 


6 










Total,.. 


10 


.... 


6 




16 


401 


Captain Connor's Texas Company of Foot.* 


David Campbell, .... 


IstLt.,. 


1 












John A. Leonard, . . . 


2d Lt., . 


1 














Corp., . 


1 














" 


2 














Private, 


1 












Milton P. Donohoe, 






2 












Michael Donovan, . . 






3 












Edward Fenney,.... 






4 












Edward Forche, .... 






h 












Henry Gillerman, . . 






6 












Emele Godquin, .... 






7 


















8 












Frederick Klinge, . . 






9 












Caleb Langeson,.... 






10 


















11 


Private, 


1 










Total, . . 


15 





1 


.. 


16 


417 


Total in 2d Illinois 
Regiment and Texas 




= 






















.... 


62 


.... 


67 


2 


131 




* Serving with the Second Illinois Regiment. 



APPENDIX. 



205 



SECOND INDIANA REGIMENT. 
Captain Sanderson's Company A. 


Killed. 


"Wounded. 


s 




o 

E-i 


Names 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Charles H. Goff, .... 
Warren Robinson, . . 
Apollos J. Stevens, . . 


Private, 
ct 

Totals. 


1 
2 
3 

4 

4 


Capt., . 
1st Lt., 
2d Lt.,. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
1 
1 
6 

9 




13 


430 


Captain Kinder's Company B. 


John T. Hardin, .... 
Joseph Laffety, .... 
Arthur Massey, .... 
David McDonald, . . 


Capt'n, 
Private, 

Total,.. 


1 

1 
2 
3 
4 
5 

6 


Corp.,.. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
5 

6 




12 


442 


Captain Osborn's Company C< 








Capt.,.. 
2d Lt.,. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
1 
8 

10 




10 


452 


Captain Dennis's Company X). 


Thomas C. Parr,.... 

"Wm. Richardson, . . 
James H. Slayden,.. 


2d Lt., . 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
1 
2 
3 

4 


Sergt., . 
Corp., . 
Musi'n, 
Priv'ts, 


1 
1 
1 
5 

8 




12 


464 



206 



APPENDIX, 



. 

Captain Davis's Company F. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


e 


1 Killed, 
£ wounded, 
1 and miss'g. 


o 
E-i 

475 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Harvey Matthews, . > 
Harrison Wilson, . . 
Ulysses W. Irwin, . . 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 

3 


Sergt.,. 
Corp., . 
Musi'n, 
Priv'ts, 


2 
3 
1 
2 

8 




Captain Kimball's Company G. 








2dLt.,. 
Sergt., . 
Corp., . 
Priv'ts, 

Total, . 


1 
2 

1 
3 

7 




7 


482 


Captain Briggs's Company H. 


Meeshack Draper, . . 
Richard Jenkins,... 


Private, 
a 

Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 

3 


Sergt.,. 
Corp., . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
1 

7 

9 




12 


494 


Captain McRae's Company I. 


Wm. W. Campbell, . 
Reuben Harritt, .... 


Corp.,,. 

Private, 
et 

Total, . . 


1 

1 

.2 

3 


Musi'n, 
Private, 


1 

1 

2 


1* 


6 


500 



Private. 



APPENDIX. 



207 



Captain Rousseau's Company E. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


si 

B 

2 


'S T3 •" 




Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


McHenry Dosier, . . 
John G. B. Dillon,.. 


Sergt., . 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 

1 
2 

3 


Priv'ts, 


5 
5 




8 


508 


Captain "Walker's Company K. 


Alfred Williams, .... 
Obadiah Lansbury, . . 
J. C. Higginbotham, 
Giles Chapman, .... 

Edmund Wyatt, .... 
Thomas Smith, .... 

Total in Second In- 
diana Regiment, .... 


Cap 
Priv 

Tot 


t.,.. 
ate, 

d,.. 


1 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 

8 

34 


2d Lt., . 

Priv'ts, 


1 

2 

3 

67 




11 


519 


.... 


1 


102 




THIRD INDIANA REGIMENT. 

Captain Sluss's Company ik. 


Wm. B. Holland, . . 
James H. Buskirk, . . 


Private, 
a 

Total, . . 


1 
2 
3 

3 


Corp., . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
5 

6 




9 


528 


Captain Allen's Company C. 


John Armstrong, . . 


Private, 


1 


Priv'ts, 


b 


•• j 6 


534 



208 



APPENDIX, 



Captain Carter's Company D. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


el 

= 

i 




O 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Wilson Houston, . . . 


Private, 
Total,.. 


1 

1 


Corp.,. . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
3 

4 




5 


539 


Captain Taggart's Company E. 




Capt., . . 
Total, . . 


1 
1 


Corp., . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
3 

4 


"" 


5 


544 


Captain Boardman's Company F. 


AVm. C. Good, 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 

2 

2 


Corp.,.. 
Priv'ts, 


1 

7 

8 




10 


554 


Captain Sullivan's Company G-. 


John A. Graham, . . . 


Private, 


1 


Priv'ts, 


5 


•• 


6 


560 


Captain Conover's Company I-Z. 








Capt.,.. 
Priv'ts, 

Total, . 


1 
2 

3 




3 


563 


Captain Gibson's Company I. 








i 
Private, 1 


-i ' 


564 



APPENDIX. 



209 



Captain Dunn's Company K. 


Killed. 


Wounded. 


- 


- SB 


o 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Total in Third Indi- 
ana Regiment, .... 




9 


Corp.,. . 

Priv'ts, 

Total, . 


1 
-1 




4 


568 


40 


.. 


49 




MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT. 
Field and Staff. 








Colon'l, 


1 




1 


569 


Captain Sharp's Company Ik* 


William Ingram, .... 


Sergt., . 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
1 

2 


Capt.,,. 
1st Lt., 

Sergt, . 
Priv'ts, 


1 

1 
1 
5 

8 




10 


579 


Captain Cooper's Company B. 


Thomas H. Titley, . . 

L. Turberville, 

W. H. Wilkinson, . . 


Private, 
Total, . . 


1 

2 
3 

4 

4 


1st Lt., 
Priv'ts, 


1 
5 

6 


1* 


11 


590 


* Private. 



14 



210 



APPENDIX. 



Lieutenant Cook's Company C. 



Killed. 



William Couch, 
D. H. Eggleston, 
James Johnson, 
John Preston, . . 



Private, 



Total, 



"Wounded. 



Sergt., . 
Corp.,. . 
Priv'ts, 



No. 



— = £ 
5 §<a 



12 



G02 



Lieutenant Fletcher's Company £3. 



W. W. Phillips, .. 
J. H. Langford, ... 
F. M. Robinsion,.. 
Joseph C. Reville, 
Robert A. Joyce, . . 
William Sellers, . . 





Sergt., . 


1 

2 












Corp.,. . 


1 

9, 












Private, 


1 

2 


Priv'ts, 


6 








Total, . . 


6 




6 


•• 


12 



Captain Dellay's Company P. 



B. Higany, 

James H. Blakely, . 

D. L. Butler, 

P. Durivant, 

Stephen Jones, ... 
Enos Garrett, 



Sergt.,.. 


1 










Corp., .. 


1 
2 










Private, 


1 










" 


2 


Lieut.,. 


1 






" 


3 


Priv'ts, 


5 






Total, . . 


6 


.... 


6 




12 



626 



APPENDIX, 



211 



Captain Downing's Company G-. 


Killed. 


"Wounded. 


bj) 
•S3 


iM 1 

~ 3 = 


"c5 
o 
Eh 


Names. 


Rank. 


No. 


Rank. 


No. 


Francis McNulty, . . 
J. M. Alexander, .... 
James H. Graves,.. 
J. S. Bond, 

W. M. Seay, 

Richard E. Parr, .... 


2dLt.,.. 
Corp., . . 
Private, 

Total, . . 


1 
1 

1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 

8 


Corp.,.. 
Priv'ts, 


3 
6 

9 


17 


643 


Lieutenant Moore's Company H. 


"W. D. Harrison, .... 
Patrick Rariden, .... 


1st Lt.,. 
Private, 

it 

Total, . . 


1 
1 
2 
3 

4 


Sergt.,. 
Corp , . . 
Priv'ts, 


1 
1 

6 

8 


1* 


13 


656 


Captain Taylor's Company I. 


J. S. Branch, 

A. Collingsworth, . . 

Total in Mississippi 


Sergt., . 
Private, 

Total, .. 


1 
1 
2 
3 

4 
5 

6 

40 


Sergt.,. 
Priv'ts, 


1 
3 

4 




10 


666 


56 




98 




* Corporal. 



212 APPENDIX. 

RECAPITULATION. 



' 



REGULARS. 




T3 


T3 
T3 


a 


1 


■=2 . 


o 

o c 


Corps. 


~ 


3 


w 


o 




aT~ 




W 


O 


a 


< 


VI | 


!= 


General Staff, A. A. G. 2 


1 






1 








* " 


• • 






Corps Engineers, 


.. 


1 




1 






3d Artillery, 2 Companies, 


1 


19 




20 


150 


7-5 


4th Artillery, 1 Company, 


6 


22 




28 


117 


4-18 


1st Dragoons, 2 Companies 


, . . 


9 




9 


133 


14-78 


2d Dragoons, 2 Companies 




2 




2 


76 


38 


8 


53 


•• 


61 


476 


VOLUNTEERS. 


Brigadier-General, (Lane,) 




1 




1 






Arkansas Mounted Regi- ( 
ment, (Col. Yell's,).... ] 


18 


23 


i 


42 


479 


11-4 


1st Kentucky Mounted} 














Regiment, (Col. Mar- £ 


28 


22 


.. 


50 


330 


6-6 
















2d Kentucky Foot Regi- , 
ment, (Col. McKee's,) ' 


44 


43 


.. 


87 


571 


6-56 


1st Illinois Foot Regi- < 
ment, (Col. Hardin's,) ' 


29 


1G 


• • 


45 


580 


12-89 


2d Illinois Foot Regi- < 
ment, (Col. Bissell's,) 


47 


66 


2 


115 


573 


4-98 


Texas Company, Foot, < 
(Capt. Conner's,) .... 


15 


1 




16 


61 


3-81 


2d Indiana Foot Regi- 
ment, (Col. Bowles's,) 


- 34 


67 


1 


102 


627 


6-13 


3d Indiana Foot Regi- " 
ment, (Col. Lane's,) .. 


9 


40 


•• 


49 


626 


12-77 


1st Mississippi Foot Regi- 
ment, (Col. Dayis's,) . . 

Total of Regulars and Yol 


'■ 40 


56 


2 


98 


368 


3-75 


264 


335 


6 605 


4,215 


















388 


6 fififi 


4,691 











S. CHURCHILL, Ins. Gen. 



APPENDIX. 213 



F. 

(See page 131.) 

Major Mansfield, of the Corps of Engineers, wrote 
from Agua Nueva, March 1st, a letter, from which the 
following extracts are made : 

" Nothing could exceed the gallant bearing of our 
horse and dragoons, nor the bravery and good conduct 
of the volunteers, as a body. Not a regular infantry 
soldier was in this fight. 

" If I had had but one single full regiment of regu- 
lars in reserve, we could have charged their battery 
on our extreme left, and taken 4000 or 5000 pris- 
oners. As it was, we could only hold our own 
against such odds. 

" It was a beautiful battle, — not a mistake made 
the whole day ; but every man perfectly exhausted at 
night. Our loss about 264 killed, and 450 wounded ; 
the enemy's loss about 2500 in killed and wounded, 
and 4000 missing:." 



214 



APPENDIX 




c. 


(See 


page 142. ) 



Return of Mexican Prisoners captured at the Battle 
of Buena Vista, February 22d and 23d, 1847, and 
subsequently brought in by the Troops under the 
Command of Major -General Z. Taylor. 





£ 


z 
















c3 


Remarks. 


c 

p. 

"_" 

1 


z 

3 

l 


3 

CO 

1 


m 
4 


o 
O 


= 


o 
> 


CO 


> 

a 


o 
z 
O 


bo 

to 

< 




4 


4 


8/5 


1 


4 


1 


106 


Sent from Buena Vista, Feb. 
























25, in charge of Captain 
Faulac, to Gen. Santa An- 
























na, for exchange. 














39 








39 


Fit for duty ; confined at 

Saltillo. 


1 




•• 


5 


9 




133 




1 




149 


Wounded, and in hospital 
at Saltillo. 


2 


1 


1 


9 


13 


4 


257 


1 


5 


1 


294 





S. CHURCHILL, 

Inspector- General. 
Inspector-General's Department, 

Camp at Agua Nueva, March. 4, 1847. 



H. 

(See page 150.) 

It will be observed that General Santa Anna claims 
to have taken " two banners " from us, in one of the 
following letters, and " three stands of colors," in the 
other. 



APPENDIX. 215 

"To GEXERAL DON ClRIACO "VASatTEZ. 

" Agua Xueva, February 25, 1847. 

" My esteemed Friend : The haste with which I 
sent off the last express to the government hindered 
me from writing to you the news of the deeds of arms. 
We have fought for two whole days. The enemy 
awaited us at a point called the Narrows. The battle 
of the 23d was particularly bloody, on both sides ; but 
it was impossible to take the principal position of the 
enemy, which is another Thermopylae, although we 
drove him from five positions, and took two banners 
and three guns. The blood ran in torrents, and it is 
calculated that both armies lost 3000 or 4000 men in 
killed and wounded. Our bayonet charges resulted 
in the death of hundreds ; but the enemy could not be 
completely routed, on account of the strong position 
he occupied. We gave him to understand that the 
Mexican soldier can fight bravely, breast to breast, 
and without being deterred, either by strength of posi- 
tion, or by brokenness of ground, or by hunger and 
thirst, which he suffered with heroic resignation. The 
strength of the enemy was 9000 men and twenty-six 
pieces of artillery. 

" We have to lament the death of Colonel Berra, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Anonos, and the commanders of 
battalions and squadrons, Luyanda, Bios, Pena, be- 
sides other officers. General Lombardino, Colonel 
Brito, Colonel Rocha, General Angel Guzman, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonels Gallozo, Monterdeoca, Andrade, Jico- 
tercal, Ouijano, Basave, Onate, and other chiefs and 
officers, are wounded. 



216 APPENDIX. 

" I lost my horse by a gunshot in one of the first 
charges. We are destitute of necessaries for the 
wounded, and I therefore charge you to send on im- 
mediately the provisions in your place, so that they 
may meet the army, which has done its duty, and 
saved the honor of the national arms. 

" God and Liberty ! 

» SANTA ANNA." 

*' To His Excellency, D. Ramon Adame. 

" Agua Nueva, February 26, 1847. 

" My dear Friend : The hurry in which I wrote my 
last letter prevented me from sending you a copy of 
my despatch to the government, and the general 
order issued to the troops on the field of battle. I 
now send it, and suppose the triumph of our arms has 
been celebrated in your town. The want of supplies, 
together with the dysentery, which broke out in the 
army, compelled me to listen to the opinions of the 
generals and chiefs of the army, and regulate my 
operations accordingly. They unanimously deter- 
mined that the army ought to fall back on points 
where supplies might be had. I have, therefore, 
determined to retire by way of Cedral, Vanegas, and 
Matahuala, where I can establish a hospital for the 
wounded, who amount to more than 400, and also for 
the sick ; after which I will return and seek the ene- 
my, provided the government furnishes the necessary 
resources. 

" I have informed the government to this effect, un- 
der the present date. I here take occasion to state, 



APPENDIX. 217 

as all the world should know it, that the treason of a 
native Mexican prevented me from gaining a com- 
plete victory over our invaders. A soldier from the 
regiment of cuirassiers, a native of Saltillo, deserted 
from Encarnacion, and informed General Wool of 
my approach. General Wool precipitately struck his 
camp, abandoning a part of his train, and some pro- 
visions, and occupied the impregnable position of La 
Angostura, which it was impossible to reduce, not- 
withstanding the great advantage gained by our troops, 
who took five of their positions, three stands of colors, 
and as many pieces of artillery. 
" God and Liberty ! 

« SANTA ANNA." 



I. 

(See page 151.) 



General Minon published a letter in the " Inde- 
pendiente," in which, after defending himself, he 
attempts to account for the disasters of the battle, 
and denies that the Mexican army was suffering for 
want of food. 

"To the Editors op the < Independiente.' 

" Santa Maria del Rio, April 10, 1847. 

" Dear Sirs : The nation will know, one 

day, what that was which was called, without shame, 

the victory of La Angostura ; it will know that it had 

brave soldiers, worthy to rival, in ardor and enthu- 



218 APPENDIX. 

siasm, the best of any army whatever ; that it had in- 
trepid officers, who led them gallantly to the combat, — 
but that it had no general who knew how to make use 
of these excellent materials. The nation will know 
that if, on those memorable fields, a true and splendid 
victory was not achieved, no one was to blame but 
him who was charged with leading the forces, be- 
cause he did not know how to do it. According to 
the order of the attack, and with a knowledge of the 
positions occupied by the enemy, speaking in accord- 
ance with the rules of art, we ought to have been de- 
feated. We were not, because the valor of our troops 
overcame all the disadvantages with which we had to 
struggle. The battle of La Angostura was nothing but 
an unconnected succession of sublime individual deeds, 
— partial attacks of the several corps who entered the 
action. Their chiefs led them according to the divers 
positions taken by the enemy, in consequence of the 
partial defeats which he suffered ; but there was no 
methodical direction, no general regulated attack, no 
plan in which the efforts of the troops, according to 
their class, were combined, that did, or could, produce a 
victory. General Santa Anna believes that war is re- 
duced to the fighting of the troops of one and the other 
party, wherever they meet, and however they choose ; 
General Santa Anna believes that a battle is no more 
than the shock of men, with much noise, shouts, and 
shots, to see who can do the most, each in his own 
way ; General Santa Anna cannot conceive how it 
happens that a victory may be gained over an enemy 
by wise and well-calculated manoeuvres. Thus it is, 



APPENDIX. 219 

that he has eveiy where been routed, and he always 
will be, unless he should have the fortune to meet 
with one who has the same ideas with himself in rela- 
tion to war. 

" But, leaving it to others to elucidate all that hap- 
pened during this campaign of February, the very 
grave faults committed by the general who conducted 
it, and the fatal consequences which it immediately 
had, and which it will continue to have, on the war in 
which we are engaged, I shall confine myself to that 
which concerns me. It is false that I was not present 
at the rear-guard of the enemy during the battle of 
the 23d of February. I was not only present, but I suf- 
fered, with the whole brigade which I commanded, from 
the fire they kept up on us. The whole city of Sal- 
tillo, in sight of which I was all day, and the enemy 
himself, will testify to it. ... \y e were so 

much present, that General Taylor ordered six pieces 
of artillery to open upon us at that point, and there 
were more than a thousand men engaged in observing 
my brigade, who took no part in the action ; — these 
lessened the force that General Santa Anna had to 
fight. I did not withdraw from there till nightfall, 
and when the battle had entirely ceased. I retired 
within view of the enemy's troops, who sallied from 
Saltillo, with four pieces of cannon, to engage us. 
The roughness of the ground, — wholly cut up by an 
infinity of deep ravines, — rendered useless any at- 
tempt whatever on the part of my cavalry. • • * 

" The only reason, the true cause, of this animosity 
of General Santa Anna towards me, is, that I disap- 



220 APPENDIX. 

proved of his retiring from the field of Angostura, 
as is seen by my communications, numbered 4 and 
5. I believed then, and I believe now, that the 
army which had left San Luis might have remained 
at that point, and completed the great work, which it 
had undertaken, of destroying the enemy. Many be- 
lieve the same as I do. It is false that there was not 
food or water. There was every thing, — I myself 
supplied General Santa Anna. I advised him repeat- 
edly of what I had at my disposition, — beeves, corn, 
flour, — where I was. I indicated to him the route by 
which he could move, without embarrassment, to Sal- 
tillo, without scarcity of water, of forage for the horses, 
or of provisions for the troops. I had not less than 
700 beeves confined in an enclosure, all of which 
I shared with him as opportunity offered. His retire- 
ment was unjustifiable, and much more so from the 
manner in which he undertook it, — in the midst of 
the darkness of night, — abandoning, without necessity, 
hundreds of the unhappy wounded, and, in appear- 
ance, much more like that of a fugitive, desirous of 
concealing from the enemy his defeat, that he might 
not finish his destruction, than that of a general who 
desired to take breathing-time, but who could have 
obliged any that attempted to impede him to give 
way. This is the only and true cause of my perse* 
cution, — there is no other. General Santa Anna 
properly supposed that I would not desist from speak- 
ing, and telling the nation what had occurred on those 
days, and he desired to prevent me. He imprisoned 
me, and cut me off from all communication. He 



APPENDIX. 221 

desired, at the same time, to deprive me of my papers, 
in order to make my vindication impossible ; but I pre- 
served them, thanks to my foresight, and will answer, 
with dates, whatever charges they may bring against me. 
If there is any thing painful to me in this affair, it is 
that I am withdrawn from the front of the enemy, and 
deprived of the privilege of shedding my blood for my 
country, to which I owe all, — my rank and my sub- 
sistence. This I feel, — nothing else. May I be per- 
mitted to give my feeble services, to pay, in some 
manner, this sacred debt ; I will do it to merit my 
country's esteem ; and if I enjoy that, of no conse- 
quence to me is the hatred of my enemies, whom I 

pity and despise. 

« J. V. MINON." 



(See page 155.) 



The following extract of a letter, dated March 22, 
1847, from the Secretary of War to General Scott, 
indicates the extreme solicitude which was felt at 
Washington, at General Taylor's critical condition ; 
and, also, the just appreciation which the Department 
of War entertained of the momentous consequences 
depending on the battle : 

" The information which has just reached us in the 
shape of rumors, as to the situation of General Tay- 
lor, and the forces under his command, has excited 
the most painful apprehensions for his safety. It is 



222 APPENDIX. 

almost certain that Santa Anna has precipitated the 
large army he had collected at San Luis de Potosi 
upon General Taylor ; and it may be, that the General 
has not been able to maintain the advanced position he 
had seen fit to take at Agua Nueva, but has been 
obliged to fall back on Monterey. It is equally cer- 
tain, that a Mexican force has been interposed between 
Monterey and the Rio Grande, and that it has inter- 
rupted the line of communication between the two 
places, and seized large supplies, which were on their 
way to General Taylor's army. 

" If the hostile force between the Rio Grande and 
General Taylor's army is as large as report repre- 
sents it, our troops now on that river may not be able 
to reestablish the line ; nor will it, perhaps, be possible 
to place a force there, sufficient for the purpose, in 
time to prevent disastrous consequences to our army, 
unless aid can he afforded from ike troops under your 
immediate command. 

" From one to two thousand of the new recruits for 
the ten regiments, from this quarter, will be on the 
way to the Brazos, in the course of three or four days. 
All the other forces will be directed to that point, and 
every effort made to relieve General Taylor from his 
critical situation. You will have been fully apprized, 
before this can reach you, of the condition of things 
in the Valley of the Rio Grande, and at the head- 
quarters of General Taylor ; and have taken, I trust, 
such measures as the importance of the subject re- 
quires. I need not urge upon you the fatal conse- 
quences which would result from any serious disaster 



APPENDIX. 223 

which might befall the army under General Taylor, 
nor do I doubt that you will do what is in your power 
to avert such a calamity." 



K. 

These are the orders issued to the troops after the 
battle of Buena Vista : 

" Head-Quarters, Army of Occupation, 
Buena Vista, February 26, 1847. 

" The commanding General has the grateful task 
of congratulating the troops upon the brilliant success 
which attended their arms in the conflict of the 22d 
and 23d. Confident in their superiority of numbers, 
and stimulated by the presence of a distinguished 
leader, the Mexican troops were yet repulsed in every 
effort to force our lines, and finally withdrew, with im- 
mense loss, from the field. 

"The General would express his obligations to the 
officers and men engaged, for the cordial support 
which they rendered throughout the action ; it will be 
his highest pride to bring to the notice of the govern- 
ment the conspicuous gallantry of particular officers 
and corps, whose unwavering steadiness more than 
once saved the fortunes of the day. He would also 
express his high satisfaction with the conduct of a 
small command left to hold Saltillo ; though not so se- 
riously engaged as their comrades, their services were 
very important and efficiently rendered. While be- 
stowing this just tribute to the good conduct of the 



224 APPENDIX. 

troops, the General deeply regrets to say that there 
were a few exceptions. He trusts that those who 
fled ingloriously from Buena Vista, and went to Sal- 
tillo, will seek an opportunity to retrieve their reputa- 
tion, and to emulate the bravery of their comrades, 
who bore the brunt of the battle, and sustained, against 
fearful odds, the honor of the flag. The exultation of 
success is checked by the heavy sacrifice of life which 
it has cost, embracing many officers of high rank 
and high merit. While the sympathies of a grateful 
country will be given to the bereaved families and 
friends of those who nobly fell, their illustrious ex- 
ample will remain for the benefit and admiration of 
the army. 

u By order of General Taylor. 

"W.W.S. BLISS, 
"Assistant Adjutant- General." 



L. 

General Orders, No. 54. 

Head-Quarters of the Army of the U. S., 

Vergara, before Vera Cruz, March 15, 1847. 

The General-in-Chief of the army has received au- 
thentic information of a great and glorious victory, 
obtained by the arms of our country under the suc- 
cessful Major-General Taylor, at Buena Vista, near 
Saltillo, on the 22d and 23d ultimo. The general re- 
sults were 4000 of the enemy killed and wounded, 
against our loss of 700 gallant men. General Santa 



APPENDIX. 225 

Anna, on sustaining that overwhelming defeat, is known 
to have retreated upon San Louis de Potosi, and prob- 
ably will not stop short of the capital. 

The General-in-Chief imparts this glorious news to 
the army, that all with him may participate in the joy 
that is now spreading itself throughout the breadth of 
our country. 

By command of Major-General Scott. 

H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. G. 

No official report is yet received. 

WINFIELD SCOTT. 

March 17, 1847. 



M. 

War Department, 
April 3, 1847. 

Sir : Your communications of the 24th and 25th 
of February and the 1st of March, announcing the 
brilliant success of the troops under your command at 
Buena Vista, against the forces of the enemy vastly 
superior in numbers, have been laid before the Presi- 
dent, and I am instructed to convey to you his high 
appreciation of the distinguished services rendered to 
the country by yourself and the officers and soldiers 
of your command on that occasion. 

The victory achieved at Buena Vista, while it adds 
new glory to our arms, and furnishes new proofs of 
the valor and brave daring of our officers and sol- 
diers, will excite the admiration and call forth the grati- 
tude of the nation. 
15 



226 APPENDIX. 

The single fact that 5000 of our troops, nearly 
all volunteers, who, yielding to the impulse of patriot- 
ism, had rallied to their country's standard for a tem- 
porary service, were brought into conflict with an army 
of 20,000, mostly veteran soldiers, and not only stood 
and repulsed the assaults of this numerous host, led 
by their most experienced general, but in a protracted 
battle of two days won a glorious victory, is the most 
indubitable evidence of the consummate skill and gal- 
lant conduct of our officers and the devoted heroism 
of the troops under their command. It will ever be a 
proud distinction to have been in the memorable battle 
of Buena Vista. 

The general joy which the intelligence of this suc- 
cess of our arms has spread through the land is min- 
gled with regret that it has been obtained at so great a 
price, — that so many heroic men have fallen in that 
sanguinary conflict. They died in the intrepid dis- 
charge of a patriotic duty, and will be honored and la- 
mented by a grateful nation. 

You will cause this communication to be published 
to the troops under your command. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your ob't serv't, 

W. L. MARCY, 
Secretary of War. 

To Major- General Z. Taylor. 



APPENDIX. 227 



N. 



On the 28th of January, Santa Anna issued this 
proclamation to his army, and directed that it should 
be read at the head of every regiment, and that a 
printed copy be furnished to each company. 

" His Excellency the General-in-Chief of the Army of Opera- 
tions of the North, to all under his command. 

" Companions in arms ! The operations of the 
enemy require of us to move precipitately on their 
principal line ; and we are about to do it. The inde- 
pendence, the honor, and the destinies of the nation 
depend, in this movement, on your decision. 

" Soldiers ! The entire world is observing us ; and 
it is obligatory on you that your deeds should be as 
heroic as they are necessary, from the neglect and 
abandonment with which you have been treated by 
those whose duty it is to succor you. Privations of 
all kinds await you ; but when has want or penury 
weakened your spirit or debilitated your enthusiasm 1 
The Mexican soldier is well known for his frugality 
and his capability of sufferance. Never does he need 
magazines of provisions when about to pass the des- 
erts ; but he has always had an eye to the resources 
and supplies of his enemy to administer to his own 
wants. To-day you commence your march, through 
a thinly-settled country, without supplies and with- 
out provisions ; but you may be assured that very 
quickly you will be in possession of those of your 



228 APPENDIX. 

enemy, and of his riches ; and with them all your 
wants will be superabundantly remedied. 

" My friends ! We are about to open the campaign ; 
and who can tell us how many days of glory await us ! 
What a perspective, so full of hope for our country ! 
What satisfaction will you feel, when you contemplate 
that you have saved our independence ! that you are 
the objects of admiration to the whole world, and that 
our own country will shower down blessings on your 
head ! O, when again in the bosoms of your fami- 
lies you shall relate your dangers and hardships suf- 
fered, your combats and triumphs over your daring, 
presumptuous foe, — when you tell your children that 
you have given them their country a second time, — 
your jubilee will be complete ; and how insignificant 
will your sacrifices appear ! 

" Soldiers ! Trust confidingly in the destinies of 
your country. The cause we sustain is holy, and never 
have we gone to the conflict with so much justice, for 
we are defending the home of our forefathers and of 
our posterity, — our honor, — our holy religion, — our 
wives, — our children. What sacrifice is too great 
for objects so dear ? Let our motto be, " To conquer or 
die." Let us swear before the Eternal, that we will 
not rest one instant until we completely wipe away 
from our soil the vain-glorious foreigner who has dared 
to pollute it with his presence. No terms with him, 
— nothing for us but heroism and grandeur. 

"ANTONIO LOPEZ DE SANTA ANNA. 
" Head-Quarters, in Sari. Luis Potosi, Jan. 27, 1847. 
" By order of his Excellency. 

" MICHELTORENA." 



APPENDIX. 229 



O. 

This is the order of march commencing the move- 
ment of the " Liberating Army of the North " 
from San Luis cle Potosi. 

" General Orders, Jan. 26, 1847. 
"Officer -in- Chief of the Day — Lieutenant- Colonel Don 

Manuel Romero. 
"Head- Quarters 1st Brigade. — Order of march of the Army. 

" By general order, the General-in-Chief commands 
that the baggage shall not be carried with the army, 
nor shall the soldiers take their knapsacks, but shall 
wear their dress of Russia duck, and over this their 
suit of cloth ; they shall only take two shirts, four 
rounds of cartridges, and two flints, including the one 
in their guns ; they shall carry nothing except their 
cooking utensils. All the officers and other persons 
shall march in their places, and, when bivouacking, 
shall keep at the head of their respective commands. 

" On the 27th, the following pieces of artillery will 
march : Three 24's, three 16's, five 12's, and eight 8- 
pounders, and one howitzer, with ammunition corre- 
sponding to each, and also the platforms for the large 
pieces ; 500 boxes of musket-ammunition, 12,000 
flints, and the remainder of the canister and grape of 
the three pieces, which were in Tula, — all of which 
will be placed in the twenty-one wagons contracted 
for ; and what remains, on 450 mules, which the 
chief of the staff will order to be delivered to the com- 
manding officer of artillery. The ammunition of the 



230 APPENDIX. 

pieces above expressed will be escorted by themselves, 
and by the company of sappers and miners who be- 
long to the regiment of engineers, and by the artil- 
lerists of the light brigade, who will take with them 
all the implements necessary for sapping and mining, 
in the wagons which the sappers have ; the sacks for 
filling with earth will be carried on mules, which will 
be furnished by the chief of the staff. 

" On Thursday, the 28th, the 5th brigade of infantry, 
under the command of Don Francisco Pacheco, will 
commence its march, sending ahead always, the even- 
ing previous, an officer to procure lodgings and pre- 
pare rations for the troops. 

" On Friday, the 29th, the 1st and 2d brigades will 
march out in the same manner, under the orders of 
Don Rafael Garcia Conde ; these brigades will be con- 
sidered as united until further orders, and consequent- 
ly all the infantry is placed under the command of 
General of Brigade, Don Manuel Maria Lombardini. 

" On Saturday, the 30th, the 4th and 6th brigades 
will march in like manner, under the command of 
Brigadier-General Don Luis Guzman. 

" The medical staff having left in the hospitals of 
this city four junior surgeons, and only the necessaries 
for the service, all the rest will march, apportioned 
among the different brigades, under the orders of the 
Medical Inspector-General, with all their medicines, 
and articles necessary for the campaign. 

" The General's staff and its chief will depart, after 
having advanced all the brigades and material of war, 
taking particular care that, after arriving at Matahuala, 



APPENDIX. 231 

the staff will be distributed to each division, according 
to the necessities of the service. 

"All the military left in the city will know as their 
Commander-in-Chief the General of Brigade, Don Juan 
Amador, under whose command are the fortifications, 
instruction, and discipline of the troops, and likewise 
the defence of the city and state, — he being the com- 
manding General. There will remain in this city only 
those soldiers who are incapable of doing service in 
the campaign. And on the morning of the 29th, they, 
— all the new i*ecruits, — the sick, the weak, and un- 
armed, will be marched in and take possession of the 
different barracks ; for it is the desire of the President 
General-in-Chief, that only those soldiers should march 
who are capable of performing the duties and bearing 
the fatigues and privations of war. 

" Each brigade will leave in this city persons capa- 
ble of instructing their recruits ; and, for the defence 
of the place, at least one captain, and subalterns in 
proportion to their respective numbers. 

" The General-in-Chief, Don Manuel Maria Lom- 
bardini, will order that, by twelve o'clock, A. M., to- 
morrow, a list be made and delivered to the chief of 
the staff, of all the baggage to be transported belonging 
to each and every corps. The artillery, engineer, 
quartermaster, and medical staffs will also comply 
with this order. 

" The chief of the staff will remit to each chief of 
section instructions necessary for the march. 

" Every officer belonging to this army, whatever 
may be his rank or title, will read to the troops under 
his command the following order : 



233 APPENDIX. 

" 1st. Any person who may desert his flag shall 
suffer death, agreeably to article 57th, of the 29th De- 
cember, 1838. 

" 2d. Any person who may be found half a league 
distant from this city, or from the camp, shall be con- 
sidered guilty of the crime of desertion. 
" By order of his Excellency, 

"SALAZAR, Colonel, 

" VASQUEZ, General of Brigade. ' ' 



This is the final order of march and general dis- 
position of the Mexican army on leaving La Encar- 
nacion for Agua Nueva. Many important discrepan- 
cies exist between it and Santa Anna's Report, made 
out after the Battle of Buena Vista. 

" General Orders of the 20th and the 21st Feb. 1847. 
" General Officer of the Day — Don Rafael Vasq.uez. 

"Aides — Col. Jose Ma. Bermxjdea, and Lieut.-Col. Don 
Florencio Aspeitia. 

"And for to-morrow — Don Francisco Mejia, General 

Officer of the Day, 

"Aides—- Col. Don Carlos Brito, and Lieut.-Col. Don Gre- 

gorio Elati. 

" In the morning the army will continue its march, 
which will commence at eleven o'clock precisely, in 
the followin£ order : 



APPENDIX. 233 

" The 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th battalions of light infantry 
will take the lead, under the orders of General Am- 
pudia, so that he may be able to avail himself of all 
advantages that the circumstances may require ; imme- 
diately after, the battalion of sappers ; and in its rear, 
and at the head of the division of infantry of the van, 
under the orders of General Pacheco, will be placed 
the company of sharp-shooters, and three pieces of 
16's, with their respective artillerists and reserve ; as 
likewise the ammunition, composed of 100 round shot 
and 100 grape for each piece, and 80 boxes of mus- 
ket ammunition, each containing 9600 cartridges. 

" Division of infantry of the centre, commanded by 
General Manuel Ma. Lombardini, will follow. At the 
head of this column there will be five 12's, as above 
named and ammunitioned, and also 80 boxes of mus- 
ket ammunition. 

" At the head of the division of the rear, commanded 
by General Ortega, there will be five pieces of 8's, 
supplied with men and ammunition as above, and also 
its 80 boxes of musket ammunition, each containing 
9600 cartridges. 

" The division of cavalry of the rear will follow close- 
ly on the last of infantry, having at their head the hus- 
sars, and in their rear the general ammunition train, 
escorted by the brigade of horse artillery ; after the 
ammunition train, all the camp followers of all classes, 
with the baggage of all kinds, laundresses, cooks, 
&c, — it being distinctly understood that no woman 
will be allowed to mix with the column. The chief in 



234 



APPENDIX. 



charge of the commissary department is Don Pedro 
"Rangel, who is also in charge of the baggage train. 

" His Excellency, the General-in-Chief, furthermore 
orders that the different corps shall to-day receive 
from the commissary three days' rations,* for the 21st, 
22d, and 23d ; and that they require the necessary 
meat this afternoon for the first meal to-morrow morn- 
ing, which the troops are directed to eat one hour 
before taking up the line of march ; and the second will 
be taken in their haversacks, to be eaten in the night, 
wherever they may halt ; this last will consist of meat, 
two biscuits, and half a cake of (jnloncillo) brown 
sugar for each man ; for, on the night of the 21st 
there will be no fires permitted, neither will signal 
be made by any military instrument of music, the 
movement at early daybreak on the morning of the 
22d having to be made in the most profound silence. 

"The troops will drink all the water they can before 
marching, and will take with them in their canteens, 
or other vessels, all they can possibly carry ; they will 
economize the water all they can, for we shall encamp 
at night without water, and shall not arrive at it until 
the following day. The chief of corps will pay much, 
much, much attention to this last instruction. 

" Each mule belonging to the ammunition train, 
and the horses of officers, will receive two rations 
of corn, which they will take with them ; and these 
will be fed to them to-morrow night at dusk ; and 

* See the extract from Santa Anna's letter to the Minis- 
ter of War and Marine on page 151, in which he says his 
troops had but one ration. 



APPENDIX. 235 

on the following morning, at dayhreak, the horses' 
girths will only be slackened, and the mules will not s 
be unharnessed while they are eating. The light 
brigade will likewise obey this order on the night of 
the 21st, only loosening their saddles a little. The 
horses and mules will all be taken to water before 
commencing the march. 

" Each division will take with it its respective medi- 
cal staff, hospital attendants, medicines, &c, as regu- 
lated by the Medical Inspector-General. 

" The chaplain-in-chief will provide each division 
with its chaplain. He will also, as to-morrow is a feast 
day, order mass to be said at six o'clock in front of the 
position occupied by the vanguard, at seven o'clock in 
front of the centre, at eight o'clock in front of the 
rear guard, and at nine o'clock in front of the division 
of cavalry. 

" General Don Francisco Perez is ordered to be rec- 
ognized as second in command to General Lombar- 
dini, and General Don Luis Guzman as second to 
General Ortega. 

" To facilitate the duties of the conductor-general 
of the baggage train, the cavalry of Celaya and all the 
presidial troops are hereby placed under his command. 

" His Excellency, the General-in-Chief, recommends 
to every officer punctual compliance with, and obedi- 
ence to, each and every part of this, his general order. 
" By order of his Excellency, 

"MANUEL MICKELTORENA, 

" Chief of the General Staff" 



236 APPENDIX. 

Q- 

The following is a list of the officers still in the 
Regular Army, who were engaged in the operations 
referred to in the foregoing narrative. Their present 
rank is prefixed to their names, and they are placed 
in the position they now occupy, whether in the Staff 
or in the Line. 

GENERAL OFFICERS. 

Major- General ZACHARY TAYLOR, 

Brevet Major-General JOHN E. WOOL. 

general staff. 

adjutant-general's department. 

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel William W. S. Bliss, 
Brevet Captain Irvin McDowell. 

inspector-general's department. 
Brevet Brigadier- General Sylvester Churchill. 

quarterbiaster's department. 

Colonel Henry Whiting, 
Brevet Major Ebenezer S. Sibley, 
Brevet Major William W. Chapman, 
Brevet Major James L. Donaldson. 

subsistence department. 
Brevet Major Amos B. Eaton. 

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. 

Surgeon Presley H. Craig, 
Assistant Surgeon Charles M. Hitchcock, 
Assistant Surgeon Thomas C. Madison, 
Assistant Surgeon William Levely, 
Assistant Surgeon Grayson M. Prevost. 



APPENDIX. 237 



PAY DEPARTMENT. 

Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel Roger S. Dix, 
Major Andrew J. Coffee. 

CORPS OF ENGINEERS. 

Brevet Colonel Joseph K. F. Mansfield, 
Brevet Captain Henry "W. Benham. 

CORPS OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS. 

Brevet Major Thomas B. Linnard, 
Brevet Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves, 
Brevet Captain John Pope, 
Brevet 1st Lieutenant William B. Franklin, 
Brevet 1st Lieutenant Francis T. Bryan. 

ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT. 

Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel Henry K. Craig, 

Brevet 1st Lieutenant Charles P. Kingsbury. 

LINE. 

FIRST REGIMENT OF DRAGOONS. 

Captain Enoch Steen, 
Captain Robert H. Chilton, 
Captain Daniel H. Rucker, 
Captain James H. Carleton, 
1st Lieutenant Abraham Buford, 
1st Lieutenant Joseph H. Whittlesey, 
2d Lieutenant Samuel D. Sturgis, 
2d Lieutenant George F. Evans. 

SECOND REGIMENT OF -DRAGOONS. 

Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel Charles A. May, 

1st Lieutenant Reuben P. Campbell, 
2d Lieutenant Newton C. Gtvens, 
2d Lieutenant Thomas J. Wood, 



238 APPENDIX. 

FIRST REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 

Brevet Major Ltjcian B. Websteb, 
Captain James H. Prentiss, 
1st Lieutenant James B. Bicketts, 
1st Lieutenant Isaac Botven, 
1st Lieutenant Abner Doubleday. 

SECOND REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 
Brevet Colonel John Munroe. 

THIRD REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 

Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel Braxton Bragg, 
Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel John M. Washington, 
Brevet Major Thomas "W. Sherman, 
Brevet Major William H. Shover, 
Brevet Major George H. Thomas, 
Brevet Captain John F. Reynolds, 
Brevet Captain Samuel G. French. 

FOURTH REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY. 

Brevet Major Robert S. Garnett, 
Brevet Major John P. J. O'Brien, 

Brevet Captain Thomas L. Brent, 
1st Lieutenant Henry M. Whiting, 
1st Lieutenant Darius N. Couch. 

THIRD REGIMENT OF INFANTRY. 
Brevet Major Joseph H. Eaton. 

FIFTH REGIMENT OF INFANTRY. 
Brevet Colonel William G. Belknap. 



the END. 



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spectfully invited to this Catalogue, which will be found to 
comprise a large proportion of the standard and most es- 
teemed works in English Literature — comprehending about 
two thousand volumes — which are offered in most instan 
ces at less than one half the cost of similar productions in 
England. 

To Librarians and others connected with Colleges, 
Schools, etc., who may not have access to a reliable guide 
in forming the true estimate of literary productions, it is be- 
lieved the present Catalogue will prove especially valuable 
as a manual of reference. 

To prevent disappointment, it is suggested that, when- 
ever books can not be obtained through any bookseller or 
local agent, applications with remittance should be ad 
dressed direct to the Publishers, which will be promptly at 
tended to, 



HARPER'S NEW MISCELLANY 

OF 

POPULAR STERLING LITERATURE. 

" Books that have an aim and meaning in them." 

Now in course of publication, a new and attractive library 
of sterling books, elegantly printed in duodecimo, on fine 
paper, and bound in extra muslin gilt, fitted for permanent 
preservation. 

PRICE FIFTY CENTS A VOLUME. 

The cheapest Popular Series of Works yet Published. 
.*+*./**&. ■///>/»«- — - 
I., II. 

Elements of Morality &nd Polity. 

BY WILLIAM WHEW ELL, D.D., 

AUTHOR OF "HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF THE INDUCTIVE SCTEN 
CES," &C. 

2 vols. 12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, Si 00. 

Dr. Whewell's work ought to be read, because it can not be read without 
advantage : the age requires such books. — London Athenaeum. 

A text-book of simple truths, from which, by induction, a complete sys- 
tem of morality is constructed, applicable to all the relations and circum- 
stances of life, and embracing every department of human action. The 
reader who shall carefully study these volumes — and a more inviting page, 
clear and legible, the eye does not often rest upon — will find his labor more 
than rewarded. — Nevi York Commercial Advertiser. 

Professor Whewell's " Elements of Morality" have been universally re- 
ceived in England as a contribution of rare value to the department of moral 
and political science. — Baltimore American. 

A splendid production by one of the most distinguished of the scientific 
men of the age. This is a book, not to be read merely, but to be re-perused 
and patiently studied ; we have heard it pronounced by no mean critic the 
most complete and lucid work on ethical philosophy ever produced. We 
commend this work to the especial notice of thinkers and readers, to schol- 
ars and schools generally, as a most admirable text-book. — Sun. 

The style of the work, though simple, is extremely clear, strong, and el- 
oquent. It is a book to be studied rather than superficially read, and can 
not fail to be of the very highest importance in instructing and disciplining 
the public mind. — American Patriot. 

This is beyond all comparison the most complete, comprehensive, and lu- 
minous treatise on the important subjects it discusses, that is to be found 
in the language, and its careful study is indispensable to every one who 
•would obtain true and definite notions in regard to the principles of public 
and private morals. It is profoundly learned and philosophical, but the writ 
er thinks logically and clearly, and is therefore at all times lucid and com- 
prehensible. — Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. 



2 HARPER'S NEW MISCELLANY 

III. 

The Philosophy of Mystery. 

BY WALTER COOPER DENDY. 
12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, 50 cents. 

This is a learned and elaborate work, in which the writer goes into the 
investigation of all the phenomena of mind in the erratic operations and 
phantasies of ghost seeing and spectral hallucinations, and aims to give the 
true philosophy of all such delusions. He is a medical man of consider- 
able eminence, and has spared no pains in his researches, giving a great 
number of facts and cases to illustrate his philosophy. The volume will be 
much sought for, as it is really a desideratum in the world of literature. 
We know of no work on this subject which lays the same just claim to public 
attention, or the study of the philosopher. — Christian Advocate and Journal. 

The volume before us is both instructive and amusing, and at this partic- 
ular time, when the extremes of superstition and philosophy have shaken 
hands, it will be likely to effect an inconceivable amount of good, if prop- 
erly studied. It is one of the most remarkable productions of the day, and 
must create an extraordinary degree of interest in the public mind.— Mer- 
chant's Magazine. 

It belongs to that class of writings which you can take up and put down 
at pleasure, and which may us subjected to repeated readings. The work 
is pleasant, however, in spite of this— pleasant because of its facts, its nu- 
merous details of mystery, its vast collection of anecdote, its developments 
of diablerie, its tidings from the spiritual world, and the many cases which 
it brings together of the curious and the wonderful in nature and art, which 
former ages, and ignorance and superstition, have concluded to consider su- 
pernatural. Where science and modern speculation furnish the solution to 
the mystery, Mr. Dendy couples it with the statements, and the book is 
thus equally valuable and amusing. — Charleston Transcript. 

Here lies a remarkable work ; beautiful in its style, and wondrous in its 
matter. The work is strictly philosophical in its tendency, yet more amus- 
ing than a novel. — True American. 

This is a book for the lovers of marvels and of mysteries. It contains an 
immense collection of anecdotes of spectral apparitions, of illusions of vision 
or of hearing, of striking phenomena exhibited in dreams, in insanity, in 
trance, or in magnetism, and furnishes many very valuable hints to aid in 
the solution of these mysteries, Try which so many have been bewildered 
or affrighted. It is written in a style of great ease and elegance, and can 
not fail to find a very wide circle of welcoming readers. — Albion. 

This unique and remarkable book has just been placed on our table ; we 
know its reputation of old ; it is an admirable discourse on the subject of 
supernaturalisms, such as mental illusions, dreams, ghosts, mesmeric phe- 
nomena, &c. If any one will but read the first half dozen pages, we will 
vouch for it he will not neglect the rest of the volume : it is one of the best 
written books on one of the most curious range of topics that could engage 
the pen of a writer, or the attention of a reader. It is, in fact, one of the 
most curious volumes ever perused, upon a series of the most singular sub- 
jects, and, in this new and neat form, it will command a vast number of 
readers. — Sunday Times. 

" The Philosophy of Mystery" is an exceedingly able work ; far better, 
we think, than the " Natural Magic" of Brewster, a book of identical pur- 
pose, carried out in a totally different way. The " Natural Magic" is the 
more ratiocinative, Mr. Dendy's essay the more poetical, the more imagina- 
tive, and to us the more interesting. — National Press. 



OF POPULAR STERLING LITERATURE. 



Tlae 

INCLUDING HIS CORRESPONDENCE. 
BY EDWARD HOLMES, 

AUTHOR OF "A RAMBLE AMONG THE MUSICIANS OF GERMANY," &C. 

12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, 50 cents. 

It is written in a beautiful, narrative style, and can not but be every 
where acceptable. To all who appreciate the extraordinary genius of Mo- 
zart, the delicate structure of his mind, the incidents of his life, and his ro- 
mantic death, this volume will indeed be a treasure. — Boston Gazette. 

It contains, in addition to much of his interesting correspondence, and 
other papers, a detailed account of his life, adventures, and rise as an artist, 
and a discriminating sketch of his character, the peculiarities of which are 
happily illustrated by anecdotes. Many things of him, unknown even to 
his admirers, are here given to the world, and his biographer, fully appre- 
ciating the artist, has yet, not like a flatterer, but with true independence, 
spoken candidly of the faults of the man. — Merchant's Magazine. 

Of this far-famed life of Mozart it is scarcely necessary for us to say a 
word ; the foreign reviews have been so unanimous in their encomiums, 
that we suppose few will be found insensible to the strong inducement of 
its perusal, especially as the work may be obtained at the trifling cost of 
half a dollar, and in so beautiful a guise. We have looked into the biog- 
raphy but slightly, yet find it redolent with interest, and fully sustaining 
the high estimate placed upon the work by the London Alhenceum and 
Blackwood. If the Harpers continue to fill their new library with sterling 
works like the present, it will present the most truly valuable series, yet 
the cheapest, ever attempted in any age or country. — Evening Gazette. 

The only authentic biography of the great composer that is extant in the 
English language, and the events of his career are replete with useful ad- 
monitions and warning to the sons of genius, and they whisper to those 
whose present claims are not allowed that there is a future full of promise. 
In his life Mozart was neglected and impoverished, and he went to his 
grave with more than the bitterness of death crowding on his thoughts, 
but fame has taken possession of his memory, and among those who move 
as gods in musical art, few are equal to him, none are superior. This bi- 
ography possesses an interest for all who feel interested in the great men 
of the earth. It is not only remarkably well written, but has a complete- 
ness about it we have never found before in any life of Mozart. — Louisville 
Journal. 

There is such a charm in this narrative, that the lovers of good biography 
can not hear of it too soon. We can not conceive a more fascinating story 
of genius. To a style which would alone have sufficed to the production 
of an interesting and striking narrative, Mr. Holmes unites a depth of 
knowledge and musical appreciation very rare and remarkable. We thank 
him cordially for a most pleasing addition to our standard biographical lit- 
erature. — Examiner. 

The book is one of extraordinary interest, not merely to the lovers of 
music and appreciators of the great composer, but to the general reader, as 
a vivid picture of the life of a man of genius, who encountered all the dif- 
ficulties, trials, and sufferings usually the lot of genius when it comes be- 
fore a world incapable of appreciating it, and indifferent to its welfare. The 
domestic portions of the book are invaluable ; his relations to his father and 
his wife are very beautiful. The work is admirably executed, as well in the 
scientific is auecdotical passages, and is worthy of the vi idest sale. — News 



4 harper's new miscellany 

V. 



COMPRISING ILLUSTRATIONS OF LIGHT AND COLORS; 
PRACTICAL DESCRIPTIONS OP ALL KINDS OF TEL- 
ESCOPES, &C, WITH DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNTS OF 
THE EARL OF ROSSE's LARGE TELESCOPES, AND 
OTHER TOPICS CONNECTED WITH ASTRONOMY. 
BY THOMAS DICK, LL.D., 

AUTHOR OF THE "CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER," "CELESTIAL SCENERY," 
" THE SIDEREAL HEAVENS," &C. 

100 Engravings. 12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, 50 cents. 

The name of the distinguished author of this work is a sufficient pass- 
port to public favor and a sure guarantee to its sterling value, and those 
who have read Dr. Dick's former works will need no recommendation of 
this book by us. He is not only an original and profound observer of na- 
ture, but truly a most excellent Christian philosopher, whose powers of in- 
tellect and expanded views of the character of the great Architect of the 
universe are so eminently calculated to direct the mind not alone to the 
grandeur, the magnificence, and sublimity of the laws and principles of 
the material world, but to look through nature up to "Nature's God." It 
is truly a valuable work. — Farmer and Mechanic. 

The merits of this work are of the highest order; Dick is one of the 
profoundest and purest of modern philosophers. — Western Continent. 

Here is the ninth volume presented by this gifted author to the public ; 
he aim of all of which has been to simplify sciences which before have 
been too often considered as every way above, and therefore unworthy of 
the attention of ordinary readers. It is specially addressed to private stu 
dents and the higher schools, and comprises a large amount of new and 
valuable matter connected with astronomy, and pointing out ways in which 
the more humble student can in the best way improve the advantages placed 
in his way. — Auburn Journal. 

Let not the inquisitive fear that the intricacies o.f science or the techni- 
calities of language will obstruct the pleasure they will derive from the 
study of this book ; for the clearness of the author's style, and the elucida- 
tion of the one hundred engravings, render it within the scope and compre- 
hension of every intelligent student. — Industrial Record. 

The copious use of engravings and of pictorial illustrations, together with 
the plain, popular explanations, render this book a truly practical work. 
Dr. Dick is not only thoroughly scientific, but he knows well how to render 
his acquisitions available to the great body of common readers, by his ac- 
curate method and clear descriptions. — Watchman. 

We have always been an admirer of the writings of this gentleman, and 
popularity keeps on his side wherever he is known. He is a profound 
thinker and adevout Christian. His works all tend to illustrate the simple 
as well as the sublimest principles of philosophy, and while they instruct, 
can not fail to enlighten. The present volume comprises illustrations of 
light and colors, practical descriptions of all kinds of telescopes, the use of 
the equatorial-transit, circular, and other astronomical instruments, and 
other topics connected with astronomy. It is illustrated by 100 engrav- 
ings, and will be found a most valuable book for all classes, but particularly 
as a work of instruction for youth. — Illustrated Magazine. 



OF POPULAR STERLING LITERATURE. 

vi., vir. 



BY ALEXANDER SL1DELL MACKENZIE, U.S. N. 

2 vols. 12mo, Portrait, Muslin, extra gilt, $1 00. 

The history of the naval adventures and victories of Paul Jones forms ona 
of the most romantic chapters in the record of great deeds, and can not fail 
to attract general and ardent attention, since it relates to the very beginning 
of the American navy. — Commercial Advertiser. 

The various biographies of Paul Jones now extant have been carefully 
searched by Mr. Mackenzie; as also the log books of Jones's various cruiz- 
es and papers in possession of his heirs, with a view to procure a full and 
authentic collection of facts and incidents for the present work. Thus in- 
dustriously compiled and stored, and that by an able hand, this edition must 
necessarily, as it does, possess considerable merit. — Philadelphia Chronicle 

Paul Jones will always be regarded as one of the most daring and gallant 
heroes who ever made the ocean the theater of their exploits. Such a 
name can never be forgotten by Americans, nor can the services which he 
rendered to the cause of American liberty, in its infant struggles, ever pass 
into iblivion. No better biographer for such a character could have been 
found than Captain Mackenzie. Familiar with all the details of seaman- 
ship, possessing the same bold patriotism which made the career of his hero 
so illustrious, and being an accomplished and vigorous writer, he has given 
us a most admirable biography. — Courier and Enquirer. 

This is a capital American biography, of an American naval hero, scarcely 
less renowned and no less gallant and gifted with an heroic spirit than Nel- 
son, the great British admiral. There is scarcely a more stirring life in 
the whole compass of literature than that of Jones ; and the important part 
he played in giving force and almost life itself to the American navy, then 
in its earliest infancy, renders his history peculiarly interesting and attract- 
ive. No man certainly ever performed more gallant exploits, and few have 
rendered more important service to the cause of freedom than he. Many 
of his actions for bravery, skill, and the performance of almost incredible 
deeds, by apparently the most inadequate means, are scarcely rivalled by 
any thing in the records of naval history. His life should be familiar to 
American readers; and in the elegant, forcible, and graphic style of Com- 
mander Mackenzie it can not fail to be universally read. — True Sun. 

We are glad to see the life of this celebrated man by one competent to 
write it. His adventures border so much on the marvelous that one is glad 
to be sure of reading only what is authentic, and that written in a style and 
language becoming the subject. There is a good moral lesson conveyed in 
this life of Paul Jones. — Christian Advocate and Journal. 

The name and achievements of Paul Jones are indissolubly connected 
with American history; and his renowned deeds, which made him the ter- 
ror of the coast of Britain, are among the most romantic in the annals of 
naval warfare, and impart to this work the highest interest. This is the 
most complete and authentic biography of Commodore Jones ever published, 
as all accessible materials have been collected, and are used by Commander 
Mackenzie with the ability and tact which he possesses as an accomplished 
scholar and an officer, accomplishments which peculiarly qualify him to 
write naval biography. A fine portrait of this true naval hero will be found 
in the first volume. — Baltimore American. 

We have read it with some care, and compared it with other biographies, 
and think it greatly superior to any yet published. It contains a full nar- 
rative of all the important events in Jones's eventful career, and yet is les 
voluminous than previous works. — Highland Courier. 



6 HARPER'S NEW MISCELLANY 

VIII. 

Tli© Ascent of Mount Ararat, 

(ACHIEVED FOE THE FIRST TIME). 

BY DR. FRIEDRICH PARROT. 

TRANSLATED BY W. D. COOLEY. 
12mo, Map and Wood-cuts, Muslin, extra gilt, 50 cents. 

This is a most interesting book, both in its description of the country and 
inhabitants of Central Asia, and in its connection with the remarkable event 
of our world — the Flood. Mount Ararat, which was ascended by M. Par- 
rot, must ever possess to the Biblical reader most intense interest, as the 
resting place of the ark after the universal deluge. — Pittsburgh Chronicle. 
A work destined, from the intrinsic interest of the subject, and the full- 
ness of detail which is spread before the reader, to a very wide circulation. 
The idea of ascending Mount Ararat seems to have risen with the traveler 
to a passion ; previous travelers had never accomplished it ; the natives of 
the region looked upon it as impossible ; their superstition regarded the 
inaccessible summit as the mysterious resting place of the ark to this day. 
How Dr. Parrot approached the region, what adventures he met with by 
the way, what manners and customs he witnessed, how he twice essayed 
to reach the sacred peak and turned back, and how on a third attempt he 
accomplished the feat through difficulties the recital of which has led sci- 
entific men still to doubt if the ascent were really performed — may all be 
read in this compact volume, illustrated by maps and engravings, with every 
aid to the reader's comprehension. — News. 

Hardly a subject could have been selected more stirring in its character 
than " A Journey to Ararat." Held in equal veneration by Jew, Christian, 
and Mohammedan, and regarded with superstitious feelings even by the pa- 
gan, that mountain has always enjoyed a degree of celebrity denied to any 
other. Sinai, and Horeb, and Tabor may have excited holier musings; but 
Ararat " the mysterious" — Ararat, which human foot had not trod after the 
restorer of our race, and which, in the popular opinion, no human foot would 
be permitted to tread till the consummation of all things — Ararat the holy, 
which winged cherubim protected against the sacrilegious approach of mor- 
tals, and which patriarchs only were permitted to revisit, appeared in many 
respects an object of curiosity as unique as it was exciting. — London Athe- 
nceum. 

It is a highly entertaining work, embodying much historical, geographi- 
cal, and scientific information, and conveying a knowledge of the character, 
habits, and manners of the people among whom the author traveled. The 
ascent of Mount Ararat is so very difficult that many persons have doubted 
whether the feat was accomplished by Dr. Parrot, but his acknowledged 
integrity ought to place his claims in this respect above suspicion. The 
lovers of bold adventure will find in this volume much to gratify their pe- 
culiar taste, and the general reader can hardly fail to be pleased with it. — 
New York Tribune. 

This volume has claims upon the public, as a scientific and truly valuable 
work, which have been possessed by few others. It is, in fact, the con- 
densed narrative of an exploring expedition sent out by the Russian gov- 
ernment into the region about Mount Ararat, a region which possesses 
more interest for scientific men, perhaps, than any other in the world 
which has been so little explored. — New York Courier. 

It reads more like the travels of Von Humboldt than any book we have 
lately read. The writer is a man of science and observation, and the book 
we recommend to the public— Lowell Courier. 



OF POPULAR STERLING LITERATURE. 



Remarkable Orimiatal Trials, 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF FEUERBACH, 

BY LADY DUFF GORDON. 
12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, 50 cents. 

A bock of thrilling interest ; one that can not fail to be read with avid- 
ity. — New York Courier. 

This work abounds with singular cases of criminal jurisprudence in Ba- 
varia, of the most astounding and thrilling interest, the details of which are 
of remarkable character, and differ essentially from those hitherto familiar 
to the public in England or this country. They are fully equal, in their 
absorbing interest, to any thing in the famous " Causes Celebres" of France ; 
and, perhaps, for their unique and striking features, are unexcelled by any 
delineations of crime elsewhere on record. — True Sun. 

Public attention was first drawn to this work by an able and interesting 
article in the Edinburgh Review. They are all narratives of marvelous in- 
terest — more strange and wonderful, many of them, than any work of fic- 
tion, and giving to the reader a clear view of the nature and peculiarities 
of the criminal jurisprudence of Germany. — N. Y. Commercial Advertiser. 
Its illustration of the many curious customs of German criminal jurispru- 
dence will be sufficiently startling to the English reader; but, apart from 
this, the extraordinary subtle discrimination thrown into the narrative of 
each particular crime gives to the volume, as a mere story book, the intel- 
lectual interest, the passion, and all the rich and various coloring of a phil- 
osophical romance. The translation is excellent, and a judicious compres- 
sion of the original has added much to the effect. — London Examiner. 

The narratives abound with thrilling interest, setting forth the constant 
recurrence of crime, detection, and punishment, in which the attention of 
the reader is roused by the novelty of the scene, and rewarded by the light 
thrown upon the darkest portion of human nature. — New Bedford Mercury. 
This work has been so highly extolled by the Edinburgh Foreign Quar- 
terly and other reviews, that not much need be said of its character and 
claims to public notice. It presents some of the most remarkable stories of 
horrible crimes and their exposure we have ever met, and gives a very clear 
and vivid conception of the peculiarities of German criminal jurisprudence. 
_t is a book which will be universally read, as one of the most thrilling and 
absorbing interest. The translator has given in the preface a very good 
account of the criminal law of Germany, and has selected only those por- 
tions of the original work which will have the greatest value and interest. 
— Mirror. 

This book is of an entirely different character from works of a similar title 
that have hitherto appeared. It contains an account of fourteen trials for 
murder in Germany, and the object of it is to show the peculiar mode of 
trial instituted by the Bavarian code. — Evening Gazette. 

The records of crime are not usually a profitable kind of reading. The 
contagion of the example is generally greater than the warning of the fate 
of the criminal; and manyavillain has been made by the very means taken 
to keep him from crime. But as much depends on the manner of the nar- 
rative, and as it is possible to extract some of the gravest lessons of virtue 
and wisdom from the misdeeds of others, it gives us pleasure to state that 
the present work is unexceptionable in this respect, while the cases possess 
extraordinary interest, and are replete with instruction. They afford much 
insight of human motives, and teach impressive lessons of the retributive 
justice of Providence, and the misery and evil of sin. — Biblical Repository 



HARPERS NEW MISCELLANY. 
X., XI. 



INTO THE NATURAL HISTORY AND GEOLOGY OF THE 
COUNTRIES VISITED DURING THE VOYAGE OF II. 
M. S. BEAGLE ROUND THE WORLD. 

BY CHARLES DARWIN, M.A., F.R.S. 

2 vols. 12mo, Muslin, extra gilt, $1 00. 

This is another most valuable contribution to the cause of popular educa- 
tion, issued in Harper's New Miscellany ; a series that bids fair to surpass 
even their Family Library in the sterling excellence and popularity of the 
works which it renders accessible to all classes of the community. The 
work contains, in a condensed and popularized form, the results of the Brit- 
ish Exploring- Expedition, which Mr. Darwin accompanied at the special 
instance of the lords of the Admiralty. The voyage consumed several 
years, and was performed at a very heavy expense'on the part of the Brit- 
ish government. Yet here we have its most important results, divested of 
all scientific technicalities, and presented in a form at once attractive and 
accurate. The work is entitled to secure a very wide circulation. It con- 
tains an immense amount of information concerning the natural history of 
t-he whole wurld,and is superior, in point of interest and value, to any simi- 
lar work ever published. — New York True Sun. 

A work very neatly issued, and has the interest of a leading subject well 
developed, the unfailing secret of producing a book of character. In the 
present state of the world, when new countries are opening every day to 
the great conqueror, Commerce, such publications are of unusual import- 
ance. Perhaps no information, just now, can be of more consequence to us 
than that which puts us in possession of the movements of English discov- 
ery. — News. 

This is a most valuable and a most interesting work ; one which com- 
bines true scientific worth with the graces of style suited to render it pop- 
ular, better than almost any similar work which has recently come under 
our notice. The voyage of the Beagle was, in truth, a scientific exploring 
expedition ; and Mr. Darwin accompanied it at the special request of the 
lords of the Admiralty. Its results have been published in several very 
elaborate, extensive, and costly volumes in England ; but as these were en 
tirely beyond the reach of the great mass of the reading public, Mr. Dar- 
win prepared these volumes, in which all the important results of the ex- 
pedition are fully, clearly, and distinctly presented, interwoven with a most 
entertaining narrative of personal incident and adventure. — N. Y. Courier. 

This is a work of remarkable interest and value. The author, in circum- 
navigating the world, under commission of the British government, for sci- 
entific and exploring purposes, visited nearly every country on the globe, 
and preserved in this brief, simple, but beautiful narrative all the singular 
fads of a scientific, social, or geographical nature which are of general in- 
terest. The amount of information condensed in these volumes is incred- 
ible ; and the skill with which the useful and interesting is selected from 
that which is unimportant or well known is admirable. We admire the 
style, the straightforward sincerity of the writer, the apparent candor, and 
the erudite research which he uniformly exhibits. Without one quarter 
of the bu'k or pretension of our famous exploring expedition, the present 
work is hardly inferior to it in value and interest. This series is gaining a 
fine character, of which we hope the publishers will be jealous. — New York 
Evangelist.